Alicia Keys is synonymous with soulful melodies, powerful vocals, and poignant lyrics. Over the years, this sensational artist has paved the way for herself, inspiring many and being compared to some of the industry’s best.
Which singers, like Alicia, manage to tug at our heartstrings with every note they hit? In the realm of R&B, neo-soul, and beyond, several artists channel the same energy, depth, and flair as Ms. Keys.
Let’s dive into the world of music and explore 13 amazing singers similar to Alicia Keys in terms of sound and style. Let’s get started!
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, often just referred to as Beyoncé, is an undisputed queen in the music world. Similar to Alicia Keys, Beyoncé boasts an incredible vocal range. Both artists share a similar timbre, and they’ve both championed women’s empowerment in their songs.
Who can forget Beyoncé’s mega-hits? There are several to name, like “Single Ladies,” “Halo,” and “Break My Soul.” Beyond her chart-toppers, she’s snagged numerous accolades, including a staggering 28 Grammy Awards.
With their parallel paths in the industry, combined with their dedication to making impactful music, it’s no surprise that Beyoncé echoes the vibe and depth of Keys.
2. Janelle Monáe
Next is Janelle Monáe. The electric individual might be known for their eclectic style, but their musical depth is reminiscent of Alicia Keys. Both artists masterfully blend genres using what they need to convey their message; from R&B and soul to funk and pop, they ensure they remain genre-fluid.
Like Keys sings about love, identity, and society, Monáe ventures into these realms with hits like “Tightrope” and “Make Me Feel.” Their critically acclaimed album Dirty Computer further represents their prowess, earning them two Grammy nominations.
In addition to her music career, Monáe has made a name for themself as an actress. They have appeared in films such as Moonlight and Hidden Figures, proving their talent extends beyond the music stage.
3. Jill Scott
If we’re talking soulful voices that can narrate experiences and touch hearts, Jill Scott fits the bill perfectly. Like Alicia Keys’, Scott’s voice carries the weight of stories, emotion, and experience. Their shared genre of neo-soul and R&B is a platform where both artists explore themes of love, womanhood, and resilience.
Scott’s debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, released in 2000, established her as a significant voice in neo-soul music. It received critical acclaim and earned several Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist.
Scott has since added many charting hits to her repertoire, like “A Long Walk,” “So In Love,” and “Blessed.” Her soulful and emotive performances, combined with her lyrical poetry, have made her a beloved figure in contemporary music.
4. Mary J. Blige
Often called the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige has carved a niche for herself with her powerful voice full of raw emotion and unmistakable rhythm.
Like Alicia Keys, Blige’s songs often revolve around love, heartbreak, and empowerment. Some of her most notable hits that encapsulate these themes are “Family Affair,” “Real Love,” and “Be Without You.”
Over her illustrious career, she has been awarded nine Grammy Awards, making her one of the most acclaimed artists in R&B. The emotional depth in her voice and her ability to connect with listeners personally mirrors the aura that Keys often exudes in her music.
Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, better known by her stage name, H.E.R., shares similarities with Alicia Keys in her vocal texture and lyrical depth. Both artists explore themes of the heart, identity, and self-reflection.
Songs like “Focus” and “Best Part” by H.E.R. delve into the intricacies of relationships, a subject Alicia often touches on. Moreover, H.E.R.’s instrument proficiency, especially the guitar, mirrors Alicia’s affinity for the piano.
In a short span, H.E.R. has garnered several accolades, including multiple Grammy Awards. In addition to her Grammy wins, H.E.R. has received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Fight for You,” which appeared in the film Judas and the Black Messiah.
6. Jessie Ware
English singer-songwriter Jessie Ware might surprise you as an Alicia Keys counterpart, but delve a little deeper, and the connection soon becomes apparent.
Like Keys, Ware masterfully blends the danceable pop world with soulful R&B undertones. Her songs, like “Say You Love Me” and “Wildest Moments,” testify to her capability to weave poignant narratives akin to what Keys often does.
While Ware’s sound leans slightly more towards electronic pop, her emotional delivery and lyrical prowess make her a fitting contemporary of Keys. With a BRIT Award nomination and several chart-topping hits, Ware’s discography is a musical gem Keys fans should explore!
7. Tori Kelly
The Californian songbird Tori Kelly takes unfiltered talent and authentic soulfulness that strikes a chord similar to Alicia Keys, especially when she was starting out.
Both artists, rooted in their unique faith journeys, often infuse their songs with messages of hope and redemption. Kelly’s powerhouse vocals, especially in tracks like “Should’ve Been Us” and “Nobody Love,” exhibit raw emotion reminiscent of Keys’ passionate delivery.
Further cementing her position in the music industry, Kelly secured a Grammy for Best Gospel Album (Hiding Place), showcasing her versatility and depth as an artist. The undeniable fervor and sincerity she brings to her music make her an echoing voice in the realm of soulful R&B.
8. Andra Day
There’s a vintage charm to Andra Day‘s voice that instantly transports listeners to another era, yet she shares an evocative storytelling style with Alicia Keys.
Day’s “Rise Up,” from her 2015 album Cheers to the Fall, became an anthem of resilience for her generation, echoing Keys’ penchant for soul-stirring narratives. With a voice that intertwines raw power without denying her vulnerability, Day captures the essence of classic soul.
Her performance as Billie Holiday in the biographical drama film The United States vs. Billie Holiday showcased her acting prowess and won her a Golden Globe, proving her multifaceted talents beyond the music realm.
When you think of contemporary R&B visionaries, Solange certainly holds her ground. While she might be initially recognized as Beyoncé’s younger sister, her artistry stands strong on its own merits.
Although more experimental than Alicia Keys’, Solange’s soundscape resonates with the same soulful depth, drawing the listener in to hear the story under the music. Tracks like “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” address personal and societal issues akin to Keys’ socially conscious tracks.
Solange’s ability to combine her music with powerful visuals, as seen in her album A Seat at the Table, demonstrates her holistic approach to art, similar to Keys’ multifaceted engagements.
Diverse in her sound, Tinashe offers a fresh blend of R&B, pop, and electronic music. While her style is distinct, her voice has a sultriness and depth that can remind listeners of Alicia Keys.
Tinashe first gained attention as a member of the girl group The Stunners. After the group disbanded, she embarked on a solo career. Her debut single, “2 On,” reached number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, setting the stage for her debut album, Aquarius, which was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.
Apart from her musical endeavors, Tinashe, like Alicia, is a trained dancer, bringing an added layer of expressiveness to her live performances. She competed on the 27th season of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place.
11. Ella Mai
British singer Ella Mai‘s ascent in the R&B world came swiftly but deservedly, as she brought the world a swirl of classic 1990s R&B vibes mixed with contemporary flair. Her hit single “Boo’d Up” became a modern-day love anthem, echoing the heart-rending emotional depth that Alicia Keys often pours into her songs.
Ella Mai’s impact on the music industry extends beyond her own music. She has collaborated with several fellow artists, like Meek Mill and Usher, lending her unique sound to a variety of tracks.
Awarded a Grammy for Best R&B Song (“Boo’d Up”), Ella Mai’s profound mark on the genre is undeniable and mirrors the iconic presence of Keys in the R&B realm.
12. Fantasia Barrino
Emerging as American Idol‘s third season winner, Fantasia Barrino’s voice carries a weight and soul that immediately draws comparisons to powerhouses like Alicia Keys.
Her songs, like “When I See U” and “Truth Is,” portray deep emotions, showing a raw vulnerability akin to Keys’ passionate ballads. Fantasia’s journey in music has been one of perseverance, authenticity, and pure talent.
Fantasia’s impact extends beyond her own music, as she has also ventured into acting and producing. She showcased her acting skills in the historical drama film The Butler in 2013.
With her Broadway endeavors and a Grammy win for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Fantasia’s multifaceted career and heart-touching music make her a worthy contemporary of Keys.
13. Lianne La Havas
With a blend of neo-soul, folk, and R&B, the English singer Lianne La Havas offers a unique musical tapestry that, while distinct, resonates with the heartfelt authenticity Alicia Keys is known for.
Lianne’s “Unstoppable” and “Green & Gold,” both charting hits, showcase her capability to weave introspective lyrics with melodious soundscapes. Her gentle yet potent voice brings stories to life in a way that deeply connects with listeners.
Like Keys’ nuanced exploration of love and life, Lianne’s songs delve into personal experiences, making them universal tales of love, loss, and self-discovery. With a Grammy nomination and widespread acclaim for her albums, this artist is a beacon of genuine artistry in modern music.
Summing Up Our List Of Artists Like Alicia Keys
Discovering new singers with a style like Alicia Keys can open up a whole world of soulful music. As you have read, her talents and skills, over and above her extraordinary voice and skillful narratives, are reflected in a long list of talents.
Whether it’s the powerhouse vocals of Mary J. Blige and Fantasia Barrino or the smooth R&B sounds of Lianne La Havas and Ella Mai, we hope you were able to discover new favorites with this list.
But who have we missed that should be on here? Let us know, and we’ll add them for you!