Alicia Keys has not only written a candid memoir, More Myself, excerpted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, she’s produced an audiobook — with the help of husband Swizz Beatz, Oprah Winfrey, JAY-Z, Michelle Obama, and Bono!
“This audiobook has so much amazing energy, I’ve never experienced something so intimate. It’s nuanced and surprising and musical and emotional! I love it, and I am grateful to all my friends and loved ones for joining me on this ride,” said Keys, 39, in a statement about the audiobook, which will release in tandem with her book on Tuesday, March 31. “Recording this was a meditative experience, and I cannot wait for the world to hear my story from my own voice.”
More Myself delves into the superstar singer and 15-time Grammy winner’s lifelong struggle to find herself. She also shares details about her rollercoaster love story with Swizz Beatz, 41, and the challenges of the surprise pregnancy that resulted in her second child. (The couple, who married in 2010, share sons Egypt, 9, and Genesis, 5.)
For years, “I was building my life around this image of perfection, and it was really oppressive,” says the artist, who recalls once feeling “emptiness” and nearly crumbling under the pressure of her skyrocketing career back in 2006. “I was clearly a woman who wanted to talk about truth and empowerment and strength, but when I really looked at myself, I realized that my whole life I’ve kind of been putting on a mask.”
Keys’ audiobook promises to be just as “honest” a look at the artist. She’s included “never-before-heard recordings of her musical process, song ideas, and musical riffs that give listeners access to some of the more intimate facets of the process behind creating her 65 million records sold,” according to the press release. More Myself also has introductions and vignettes recorded by her parents, husband, and group of celebrity friends, like the former first lady, the beloved television personality, top musical artists, and others.
“Alicia’s audiobook offers an authenticity and insight very few memoirs can match,” said Guy Oldfield, who produced the audiobook, in a statement. “To hear one of music’s most-gifted creators speak openly and honestly about the challenges of life and fame, and delivered with such humility and grace, will resonate with every listener.”
Oldfield continues: “This is at heart a very human story, offered directly from Alicia’s generous spirit and soul. In combination with incredible first-person accounts from friends and family, the lyrics of songs which have inspired millions, plus original music — Alicia’s audiobook significantly elevates the spoken-word medium, offering a rich and rewarding experience for all.”
More Myself, the audiobook, will be released on March 31 through Macmillan Audio in tandem with the hardcover release from Flatiron Books.
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