Alicia Keys: The Princess of Queens

Alicia Keys' first CD sent her into the stratosphere. But for her second, she refuses to put on any airs

There is a silent plague that kills more music careers than drug overdoses, plane crashes and guest appearances on American Dreams combined. It's called second-album syndrome, and it is a cruel and unpredictable assassin. Paula Cole, the promising pop-folk bohemian of the late '90s, got seven Grammy nominations for her major-label debut, then inexplicably decided to go disco. Search parties have all but given up hope of finding her. Second-album syndrome usually works quickly, but it can also behave like a slow, dignity-robbing virus. Britney Spears had a choice when putting together her second album--establish a pattern of artistic evolution or...

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