Fast running out of space in the trophy cabinet is soul-singer Alicia Keys, who in just over a decade has netted a haul of no less than fourteen Grammys and (gulp!) 60 million sales across the globe. Yet until 2009, here in the UK, save for a few notable hit-singles in "Fallin'", "My Boo" and "No One", Keys' star didn't shine anywhere near as brightly as in the US of A where the same three songs had topped the charts.
The turning point was that same year's soulful "The Element of Freedom" album, a collection of comparably low-key and personal songs that struck a chord over here, giving Keys her first #1 album. The singles "Empire State of Mind" and "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" certainly reigned in plenty of British admirers, setting the singer up with a new generation of admirers and fans. This looks likely to continue with the insertion of Nicki Minaj as co-performer on her latest single and title track from the new album, "Girl on Fire".
And with that new album, due out next Monday (27th Nov), comes the announcement of new UK tour dates - huzzah! Aside from her vast amount of charitable work which included a show over here in 2011, as well as a memorable one-off show at this year's iTunes Festival, Keys has been quietly forging ideas for an arena tour in 2013.
First stop for the "Girl on Fire Tour" will be Liverpool on 18th May 2013, followed by Newcastle, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and, not surprisingly, London on the 30th. We will have tickets available for Dublin and Belfast from Thursday 29th November at 9AM, with the remaining UK arena dates on sale from 9am Friday 30th November, priced from £39.50 to £45 (54.65 for Dublin).