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In the last month, it’s safe to say that singer/songwriter/humanitarian Alicia Keys has been a hot topic — at least in my world. From the pictures revealing her baby bump and pregnancy glow to her arriving at the BET Awards with her recently divorced fiance, Kaseem Dean, a.k.a. Swizz Beatz, and her seductive piano crawl during her tribute to Prince, she’s buzz worthy. (FTR: Pregnant or not, if I were singing “Adore,” I probably would have gotten up there, too. She was obviously feeling sexy, and if “Adore” doesn’t make you feel that way, something’s wrong.)

In that time, I’ve heard so many things. Either she’s a homewrecking, man-stealing hypocrite (How dare she stand there, big and pregnant, smiling after she’s caused another woman so much pain?) or just a woman in love, living life. (Swizz and his wife, Mashonda, were already on the outs, and you lose what wasn’t yours already, right?)

Fast-forward to her performance at the recent Essence Music Festival. She, the headliner for Saturday night’s concert, had a hard row to pull. She followed a tough act – Gladys Knight, who, though I missed her, was much too awesome to perform before Keys according to others. She took the stage and it was … weird. There was an undeniable silence in the crowd that I didn’t expect. I looked behind me to see a woman sitting two rows back among empty seats with her arms tightly folded. With a mean side-eye, she mouthed two words: man stealer. Wow.

Alicia put on a decent show, but something was missing in the atmosphere. The audience was lukewarm at best. During her performance, I checked Twitter. It was apparent that some people at the festival still weren’t happy about Keys’s indiscretions.

“Alicia Keys is almost working as hard as Breezy for redemption. Essence chicks aren’t fans of infidelity … no shade.”

“Hearing Alicia sing ‘Karma’ is … interesting.”

So that was the uncomfortable feeling I was getting. Did Keys feel it, too? Swizz Beats was officially divorced as of May. The two are clearly happy, and they plan to marry soon, according to entertainment reports. Even so, some of Keys’s most devoted fans have a serious problem with her publicized relationship with then-married Swizzy. My question is this: When is Keys going to address the issue of dating a married man, or should she at all?

The situation seems to mirror the Tiger Woods fiasco. All Woods owes us is a great game of golf, not a detailed, worldwide apology about something that directly affects his wife. Do celebrities’ indiscretions in their personal lives affect their business lives to the point where they owe their fans explanations or apologies? Will those two lines always cross for certain folks?

Let’s look back at Keys. Should she be expected to give her fans the lowdown on her relationship with Swizz Beatz (because it’s clearly complicated) or is she only required to make good music?

Unfortunately for celebrities, public relations is the name of the game these days, and it’s not hard to do. (Celebrities are using Twitter as a free publicity agent. Check out celebritytweets.com.) It’s clear that Keys has adopted the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, and her career might be affected because of it.

I’m neutral on the issue, but for sure her involvement with a married man doesn’t support her platform on women’s empowerment. She recently launched a website, iamasuperwoman.com, where she writes on the homepage:

“Welcome to a powerful, passionate, radiant, exciting, addictive, compassionate, and loving virtual world called IAAS, which stands for I Am a Super Woman! For many of us, that is not just the title of a song but a mantra. My friends and I at AK Worldwide are launching a new venture and would like you to join us. We’re creating a fresh new source for positive and inspiring news, a destination which will empower and link female voices and unleash the super woman in us all.”

Does her behavior support her platform and the positive image she aspires for women? Really, who’s to blame here? Fallen celebrities or society for placing talented individuals on sky-high pedestals?

Put yourself in Alicia’s position. Would you hide out until you give birth then release a statement regarding your relationship, or keep your personal affairs just that — personal? She seems to have taken the latter approach but at what cost?

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  • D-ski

    What a lot of folks don’t realize that Jada Pinkett Smith was dating Will Smith…..while he was still legally married to his first wife Sheree. However, being the boss lady that Jada was, she advised Will to go back and make sure that all “t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted” so that he wouldn’t be bringing baggage into their relationship. We are not owed any explanation, reason and/or editorial from Alicia Keys whatsoever. Mashonda(Swizz’s former wife), chose to air it all out in public for whatever her reasons were and I do not judge her for that. I will not judge Alicia for her relationship because we are not privy to the intricacies of what happened, how it happened and why it happened……we just know that “ish” happens! With all that being said we live in a hyper media crazed society now, where everything is about celebrities opening up their “bootie cakes” and showing us what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Therefore, we as a society have this false righteousness as well as haughtyness, and assume(erroneously) that these celebs from Alicia, Chris Brown, Tiger Woods , Lebron James, etc have to put it all on blast to appease us. If we spent more time looking at how our actions have an affect on our OWN world…..we would make better decisions. I am looking at the “Clutchette” in the mirror and asking her to change her ways, because that is where the most damage in my life is done. After Alicia, there will come another so called scandal for us to tweet, fb and blog over…..it just never stops….but don’t we need to? I am just sayin.

  • Cicely

    What happened to that guy Krucial that Alicia was dating for so long? Why get involved with a man with 3 baby mamas? That’s what I can’t understand.

  • Here we go. Was any of us there? AK knows what she gotten herself into. SB knows what he is. AK knows what SB is. MT ( SB ex knows what SB is) SB ex was 5 months preg when he had his oldest son before she miscarraige and she stayed with him(he was a cheater then)before AK.Then he had a baby girl while he was with AK(AK was beside him during the dna test)he cheated again on her too..so SB must b doing something good in the eyes of these woman that they like. They know whats he does and it doesn’t matter to them so why should it matter to YOU???I’ts not costing u 1 red cent and i bet u every one of u thats has something to say have been in the same boat 1 time or another before.Has cheated or been cheated on. LOL,LOL, GO AHEAD AND TELL THE TRUTH…GO ON OUT THERE AND BUY ANOTHER 1 OF ALICIA KEYS CD….AND STOP THE HATING…JAJAJA…SHARE A LOT OF LOVE AMERICA