The New York native, 39, answered the internet’s most searched questions about her during a new episode of Wired‘s “Autocomplete Interviews” on Thursday, June 18, and opened up about how she got her start in the music business.
“My first band that I was in was just four of my homegirls from my neighborhood. I don’t even think we got to the place where we had a name,” the “Underdog” songstress teased. “My second band that I was in was kind of like one of these projects that are put together by people, and they heard I sang and they were like ‘oh, maybe you could be a part of it.’ It didn’t work out with me, but eventually, they came out. I think their name was Little Women, but I was never part of that. I moved on and they moved on, that didn’t work out for me.”
The band in question, 3LW, was formed in 1999 and featured Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams and Naturi Naughton. Their first single, “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right),” quickly rose to the top of the charts after its release in 2000, and the group put out their debut self-titled album later that year. In the summer of 2001, the trio hit the road with Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson and more artists as part of MTV’s Total Request Live tour.
Shortly after their initial success, Naughton, 36, left the group and claimed that there were conflicts within the group. She was eventually replaced by Jessica Benson in early 2003 after Williams, 33, and Bailon, 36, signed on to appear in Disney Channel’s Cheetah Girls movie. As the New Jersey native and The Real cohost became more involved in the Disney group, which also featured Raven-Symoné and Sabrina Bryan, 3LW fell to the wayside and disbanded in 2007.
Though Keys lost out on her chance to sing with the other 3 Little Women, she went on to become one of the most decorated women in R&B. Following the release of her debut record, Songs in A Minor, the “Fallin'” singer became the second female solo artist to win five Grammy Awards in one night in 2002. Since then, she’s scored an additional 10 honors from the prestigious music awards and has become a champion for diversity in the industry.
“I feel the energy of all the beautiful artists in this room,” she said from the Grammys stage as she hosted for the second time in January. “We want to be respected and safe in our diversity. We want to be shifting to realness and inclusivity. So tonight, we want to celebrate the people, the artists that put themselves on the line and share their truth with us.”
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