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In 2009, Keys also collaborated with Jay Z on "Empire State of Mind", which became her fourth number-one single and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.Girl on Fire (2012) was her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.Her third album, As I Am (2007), produced the Hot 100 number-one single "No One", selling 7 million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards.In 2007, Keys made her film debut in the action-thriller film Smokin' Aces.Keen on dissecting music, Keys continued developing her songwriting and finding her own 'flow and style" through her exploration of the intricacies in different music.Keys spent more time in Harlem during her teenage years.She connected with the cultural and racial diversity in the neighborhood, where she expanded upon her musical exploration, and her character was also solidified.
At the time, Keys was part of a three-girl band that had formed in the Bronx and was performing in Harlem.That type of studying, that type of discipline...after a while, I realized what it provided me – focus, the ability to pay attention for a long enough period of time to make progress; the work ethic; the actual knowledge of music, that then unlocked the ability to write my own music, put my own chords and things I heard in my own head to different lyrics that I maybe felt, and I never, ever had to wait for anybody to write something for me.Living in the "musical melting pot" city, Keys had already been discovering other genres of music, including soul music, hip hop, R&B, and taken affinity to artists like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.Although she did not like to speak about her father in order to not feed stereotypes, Keys remarked in 2001: "I'm not in contact with him. I walked the streets alone, I rode the trains alone, I came home at three in the morning alone, that was what I did." "The city had a huge influence on me because it's such a diverse place.As hard as [growing up in it was], I always felt very blessed about being able to recognize different cultures and styles, people and places.