Saturday, August 18, 2001

Alicia Keys hit #1 with “Fallin’”

Last updated 3/18/2020.

Fallin’

Alicia Keys

Writer(s): Alicia Keys (see lyrics here)


Released: April 2, 2001


First Charted: May 5, 2001


Peak: 16 US, 15 RR, 24 AC, 14 A40, 14 RB, 3 UK, 24 CN, 7 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.6 UK, 1.92 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 160.37 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Alicia Keys grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan with her mother. She has said her mother was the inspiration for the song “Fallin’”, about caring deeply about a person who one loves very much, but drives one crazy at times. SF Musically the song revealed Keys’ roots playing classical piano; it opens with a piece taken from Chopin. SF

She landed a record deal with Columbia Records which fell through SF but then Arista Records executive Clive Davis saw her perform. He kicked off his new company, J Records, with Keys at the forefront. He wrote a personal letter to Oprah Winfrey landing Keys a gig on The Oprah Winfrey Show before the album had even come out. SF

There proved to be an audience. She fit into the neo-soul genre “without being as spacy as Macy Gray or as hippie mystic as Erykah Badu while being more reliable than Lauryn Hill.” AMG “Fallin’” “is a testament to Keys’ skills as a musician;” AMG it “was rich enough to compensate for some thinness in the writing” AMG and has become her signature song. WK It was an “aching piano ballad” TB-296 which made Keys “an instant heartthrob and a household name in record time.” TB-296 Entertainment Weekly’s Beth Johnson described the song as “gospel fervor of lovesick righteousness.” WK PopMatters.com’s Mark Anthony Neal said it combined “Keys’ natural blues register with a subtle, and brilliantly so, sample of James Brown’s ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.’” WK

The song cleaned up at the Grammys nabbing awards for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Vocal Performance. She also took home the prizes for Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. MTV gave her the award for Best New Artist in a Video.


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