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ESSENCE sits down with 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter and record producer Alicia Keys for its June issue cover story, Into The Light.

With new music and a book on the way, Keys chats with ESSENCE’s “Yes, Girl” podcast hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn for an unfiltered conversation about her journey, the way husband Swizz Beatz loves her and the joy she’s constantly discovering.

Keys exudes her luminous natural beauty 17 years after her first ESSENCE cover. Since that time, she has achieved global success and inspired her audience along the way. Fans have witnessed her evolution as a wife, a mother of a blended family, philanthropist and activist. The secret to her abundant joy? Bring good vibes only. Keys tells ESSENCE:

“I think we have to come to an understanding that it’s okay to state what you need and state your piece and be clear, because if you don’t know what you need and you’re not able to say it, you’ll never get it. That’s been a deep, beautiful process for me…I just have always been able to be what I believe is just cool, man, because everything doesn’t have to be so damn dramatic all the time either. Things can just be cool. So I’m blessed for that…”

Photographed by J.D. Barnes and styled by ESSENCE Fashion Director Marielle Bobo, Keys is resplendent in a photo spread featuring her in designers such as Lanvin, Roland Mouret, Rachel Comey, The Row and more.

The full conversation between Keys and the podcast hosts will also be featured on ESSENCE’s Yes! Girl podcast, available for streaming and download on iTunesSpotify and Google. The June issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on Friday. For more on this month’s cover story, visit

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