Alicia Keys Misses Top 40 with ‘KEYS’ Album / TGJ Weighs-In

Published: Monday 20th Dec 2021 by Sam

Alicia Keys has been showered with critical acclaim following the release of her eighth studio album, ‘KEYS.’

However, the dual-concept project has not managed to unlock a position in the top 40 of the Billboard 200.

Full story below…

According to Chart Data, the ‘LALA’ led set launches at #41 on the coveted count with equivalent sales of 20,800.

The figure pales in comparison to the 62,000 unit start of 2020’s ‘Alicia’ album – which opened at #4.

It also means that the project, which features Swae Lee, Khalid, Pusha T, and Lil Wayne – becomes the star’s first traditional studio effort to miss the top 5 and subsequently the top, 10, top 20, top 30, and top 40.


We love us some Alicia (love!), but Houston we have a problem.

From our vantage point, we’re somewhat perplexed that this album followed so soon after the last. A project that itself delivered sales that paled in comparison to past efforts.

There is a postponed tour for that LP due to take place next year; perhaps ‘KEYS’ was released as a bridge of sorts and to maintain market presence until then?

Who knows.

On the upside, there is no denying the equity that still exists in the “Alicia Keys” name. She’ll always have a stage to perform on and an audience that will cheer her on. Always.

Furthermore, in fairness, on paper, the charting also doesn’t present the fullest picture. Because, with the influx of holiday albums (much more than in prior years), Keys was up against increased competition. Y’all follow sales here on That Grape Juice, so will know that 20k on a “normal week” often would be enough for a top 10 in the current climate. Possibly even top 5.

That said, no matter how it’s diced or sliced, these numbers…for an artist of her stature…in Q4…are unavoidably underwhelming.

When it comes to new music, it’ll be important for Keys to play the game a little more. And by that, we mean strategic collaborations (with artists that stream well), creative retail partnerships that will help her capitalize on her previous strong performance with traditional formats, and the embrace of other means/mediums that will help her thrive in the modern marketplace.

Enough from us, though. What are…

Your thoughts?

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  1. Theman December 20, 2021

    The album is very good. There is no hit nor physical product yet. A R&B hit with more promotion before hand would’ve helped her album to do far better. Her songs have barely done anything on R&B radio. She should do high profile collaborations and partner with certain mediums. Radio deals could be a good thing too.

  2. Claramae December 20, 2021

    That’s what happens when your a washed up has~been. She’s still more successful than Beyontrash!!!

    • Justme December 20, 2021

      The girls are obsessed with BEY lately… how you obsessed with a singer that hasn’t brought out an album in 5 years.. pathetic

    • Ilo December 21, 2021

      A lot of artists ain’t on the billboard 200, doesn’t mean they don’t make quality music or can’t have sucess among their fanbase. I don’t care about charts positions, the quality is there and it’s all that matters. In fact, this album is one of my favorite from her, i always loved jazz infused music and with this album i got it.

  3. Justme December 20, 2021

    I think the album was boring. She has to remember ppl that don’t really listen to her unless she has a commercial hit, or a least a visual worth talking about. It’s easy listening which is cute, but not for the climate we’re in.

  4. Formulation December 20, 2021

    The album was boring as hell… i did try sk hard as i love akeys… i need the element l
    Of freedom… the diary of…. please aliciaaa

  5. K December 20, 2021

    This album had no physical release, if she had that, it would have done even better than last albums debut, since her streams are up.Alicia has been in the game for 20 plus years. Mists Artist of her times aren’t even selling, at least she is driving in her own lane! And keeping her music fresh.

    • Julian December 21, 2021

      Exactly! Her sales have always been mainly physical, so I really don’t understand the strategy of going all-digital this time, with physical albums coming later (in February I think). Had they released digital + physical at the same time, she would’ve easily gone top 20, if not top 10. Now no one will even care when the physicals finally come, the album will be long gone from the charts by then.

  6. K December 20, 2021

    This album had no physical release, if she had that, it would have done even better than last albums debut, since her streams are up.Alicia has been in the game for 20 plus years. Mists Artist of her times aren’t even selling, at least she is driving in her own lane! And keeping her music fresh

  7. Clarks0o00ñ December 20, 2021

    What was she thinking releasing an Album during this season

    Juice wrld
    Christmas music

    She should have waited till next year.

  8. Theman December 20, 2021

    This was also a rush release.

  9. True Tea December 21, 2021

    All I have to say

    Hang it up…

    Flatscreen! 🤷

  10. J December 21, 2021

    Why aren’t artists releasing physical anymore? What a waste, keep your album if it’s just going to streaming, that’s a f****** mixtape

    Anyway, I got to about track 4 and couldn’t take it anymore lol

    Literally the album starts off so boring. No hits. She can’t sell without a hit.

  11. Neutral December 21, 2021

    We all know her career died when she became a homewrecker. That really took a toll on her overall presence

    • Bam December 23, 2021

      It took a dip but she could’ve made a return to form if the music was great and she was given time after time to bring great music yet she’s a bore now. She needs to set ego aside tell Swiss to shut up and call kruccial keys.

  12. aisha December 21, 2021

    I really enjoy the album though. It’s unfortunate tht it didn’t do well the first week.

  13. Farrah’s Luggage (8k Camila) December 21, 2021

    Mashonda says hi

  14. Anne December 21, 2021

    I doubt that Alicia will start picking collaborators based on how well they stream. She seems much more musically centered than that. As for marketing ploys, I can see her trying that next time. I’ve only heard one song from the album, the one that samples Sade, and I like it. Might check out the rest soon.

  15. Jason Stewart December 21, 2021

    Huge Alicia Keys fan here but it was just boring and tough to listen to. It’s one thing when you have a CD you pop in while driving and you find her deep cuts but in the streaming era you need something with some bite to it to keep your interest

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