Alicia Keys Talks Marriage and Rihanna as Evening Standard's Cover Girl

Keys says she's proud of Rihanna for standing up for herself in this "crazy" business.

Posted: 06/19/2013 11:47 AM EDT
Alicia Keys, ES magazine cover

(Photo: Evening Elegance, July 2013)

Alicia Keys exudes glamour in Evening Standard's latest issue. The singer hides behind her hands in the black-and-white cover with her hair in a classy updo. Inside, though, she opens up about the "soulless" music industry, Rihanna, and how her husband, Swizz Beatz, has taught her how to be more laid-back.

"I am way more relaxed," she says of her marriage to the producer. "Life is many things, and I didn't know how to balance it before. And I didn't know how to enjoy it very much, either. One of the things my husband has taught me is how to be more free. To be more fluid and flow."

Perhaps it's a lesson she wishes she'd learned in her youth when she was starting to break into the music business, but she understands that it's easy to get lost in what she calls "a soulless space" that could suck you dry if you let it.

"It's such a tricky, crazy business, and when people are a little bit younger than me, I'm always hoping that their soul is good 'cause it can be such a soulless space. Who's really loving you and making sure that you're ok? Because everybody wants to make sure you're ok when they can get something from you, and they're getting a percentage from you. But they don't technically care if you're ok. They just wanna make sure you can stand so you can go to work. So naturally I am always thinking about people and hoping that in this very soulless place they can find completion."

When asked if she thought Rihanna had a good team looking out for her and helping her be complete, Keys says she didn't know, but felt proud of her for standing up for what she wants.

"Um. I don't know, because I don't know her personally like that. But I do know there's a lot of good people at Roc Nation [her management company]. And I do think that as we all get older, you start to be able to say, 'No, I'm not gonna take that from you any more.' So, I'm proud of Rihanna. Because it's not easy to stand up in this crazy world and make it and keep going and try new things. And find your way through it."

With that said, Keys wouldn't hesitate to help her own son, Egypt, navigate the system if he found his calling in music.

"But he has to do what makes him happy. And if it makes him light up, hell yeah, I want him to do it. And if my husband and I can fast-track him past the bulls--t a little bit, that would be cool."


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