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Alicia Keys: Fame changed me

Alicia Keys (29) has admitted that she found it difficult to cope with fame when she first found success. The singer also revealed how her busy schedule meant that she had little sleep and found it difficult to control her temper.

Speaking to the News of the World, she said: “I’d gone from being this kid from Harlem to flying round the world first class and working, working, working. It sounds like a dream and in many ways it was, but I got to a point where I couldn’t cope.”

She revealed that she turned into “this horrible, argumentative, unhappy person. I’d fly into rages and I couldn’t sleep. I was tired but all the time people around me were talking about the next date in the diary, the next song, the next performance. My diary had no space in it for months on end.

“I wanted to scream. I was suspicious of so many people around me. I knew people were taking advantage of me and I felt as though I had all these fans all around the world but no one close to me who really cared. I had no balance in my life.”

Keys added that it was only after her grandmother’s death that she addressed the issues: “My grandmother was a very spiritual, open-hearted person. We were so close and in fact I look like her and act like her. Losing her made me realise just how much I’d been losing it.

“No-one warns you how hard it is to adjust to fame. Things happen, you find yourself becoming a person you don’t recognise and then you have to get back to who you were.

“I changed the people around me and changed the way I worked. I’d had this great career but I had no life, I needed to get my life back. I learnt to meditate and I told everyone I needed time off every few weeks in my diary. It’s working. Life isn’t just about getting what you want and having a great career, it’s having what you need.”

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