What Alicia Keys Did is Causing Controversy

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Alicia Keys, who was born Alicia Augello Cook, has been one of the biggest names in music since she released her debut album, Songs In A Minor, in 2001.

Her career has been going strong ever since then, and along the way she married Kasseem Dean (known as Swizz Beatz). The two have had two children together, and they appear to be a very happy couple.


Alicia and her husband attended the 2016 VMA Awards ceremony on Sunday, August 28, 2016. Fresh from an exciting past few months that include performing at the Democratic National Convention and on Saturday Night Live, Alicia was elegant as she walked the red carpet to the ceremony. Fans and celeb commentators soon noted that she was makeup free.

Makeup-free? That is the thing that Alicia did that has so many people talking about her. While many have dissed the singer for not wearing any makeup, others stood by her. This controversy continued to rage until both the star an her husband felt the need to comment.

Swizz Beatz was seemingly appalled at the bizarre attacks on his wife. He posted a video where he pointed out the outrageousness of someone sitting at home and being mad that a stranger didn’t wear makeup on their face. He pointed out that Alicia’s face is “not YOUR face” as she spoke in disbelief. He then reminded fans that they can do whatever they want and that Alicia isn’t telling them what to do.

If all this seems blown out of proportion, that seems to be the case. Alicia Keys even tweeted, “Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!” She followed her friendly message to fans with a couple of kissing emojis. The tweet was accompanied by a makeup-free selfie, so it looks like Alicia was also confirming that she’s not going to change what she wants to do simply because people disapprove.

This outrage over Alicia’s simple choice to not wear makeup all the time points to the double standard that women face in all areas of the entertainment industry.


Their looks are held up to scrutiny every time they walk out the front door and sometimes even when a mega-lens from a paparazzi captures the celeb at home or on private property. Alicia is not alone in her desire to bare her face and showcase her authentic beauty. Other celebs who have shared make-up free photos include Demi Lovato, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Ashley Benson, Goulding, and Beyonce.

Fans of Alicia’s likely know that the VMA Awards ceremony wasn’t the first time she has skipped wearing makeup. Earlier in 2016, she was credited with the starting the #nomakeup movement. Alicia penned a Lenny Letter called ’Time to Uncover”. In this letter, she discussed the very real fear she used to have of leaving her home without makeup on for fear that someone would take a photograph and, even worse, post it online. She goes on to talk about how she worked through her fears and hopes that there is a revolution. So, the controversy that got so out of hand? Maybe Alicia doesn’t mind it one bit. It has certainly gotten people talking.

Alicia’s new single “In Common” is available now, and her next album will be out later this year.