Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys was raised by her single mother, Terria Joseph. Since her father, Craig Cook wasn't around when she grew up, she never knew what fatherly love felt like.

On May 15, 2020, Keys shared a video with an excerpt from her book More Myself on Instagram, explaining how she felt alienated by her father. 


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Keys' Letter To Her Father

On June 10, 1994, Keys wrote a heart-wrenching letter to Cook, which she dubbed "her divorce paper" to her father. She started the letter without any salutations or terms of endearment, and shared why she felt compelled to pen it. 

In the video, she narrated an excerpt from More Myself. The singer confessed her longing for her father had turned into resentment.


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Keys' father left his family when she was just two years old. By the time she turned 14, she had had enough of his lies and false promises.

Joseph often took additional work to manage the finances which often compelled her to be away from her children. During the lonely days, Keys would think about how her father abandoned them. 

Music became Keys' coping mechanism — she would sit by the piano and play her heart out.

Alicia Keys with her mother. (Source: Instagram)

Tired of the long silences, Keys opened up about her feelings in her candid letter.

It saddens me that most of my heart is bitter towards you. It's only that little part that feels sad that's not bitter.

Keys felt neglected. Her heart broke when she saw how he cared for everyone except her. She saw her mother struggle while her father did not even provide moral support.


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In the end, Keys requested Cook not to tell his sob story to nana, her paternal grandmother. 

The singer concluded the letter by asking Cook to mind his own business. She asked him not to call, send letters, or fake acts, and made it known that the only way he could make her happy was by leaving her alone. 

Keys said her father was not confrontational but passive. A of her wished he would fight to stay in her life.


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 Re-Connecting With Her Father

In a November 2012 interview with the Daily Mail, the Grammy winner revealed she and her father were "fine." 

It was when her paternal grandmother fell ill that she realized the importance of have the people she loved close. She saw her father’s love for her grandmother and realized he wasn’t an evil person. In the end, she asked him to be her friend. 

Coming back to the letter, Keys revealed her father had kept the letter in a shoebox full of memories. She and Joseph looked at it as a sign of how far they've come.