Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #17 Alicia Keys “Fallin”Posted by Nathan S. on 11/30/09 | Filed under Features, Best of the 2000s, Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys may be fallin in and out of love with you, but every since America first saw the beautiful and supremely talented Ms. Keys it's been firmly and steadfastly head over heels. Released in 2001, the single that fully put her on the map, "Fallin", spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and cleaned up at the Grammy's for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. ("Fallin" got beat out for Record of the Year by U2's "Walk On". F**king Bono). Off her smash debut album "Songs in A Minor", "Fallin" is the song that started it all.
Much like we did for Luda and "What's Your Fantasy", when faced with an artist that has multiple hits over the course of the decade we've chosen the breakthrough/signature track as that artist's representative on our list. Hence the choice of "Fallin" for Alicia (yeah, we're on a first name basis). Before this song dropped Alicia was a closely guarded secret who had done a couple songs for soundtracks ("Dr. Dolittle 2" anyone?). After this song hit, she was the new voice and face of female r&b, a singer whose legacy will be that of a singer who was both enormously commercially successful and artistically courageous. Would Keys' have eventually found fame without "Fallin"? Yeah, probably, but there's no doubt that the track is the primary reason we're talking about her today.
Keys' herself has called "Fallin" her signature song, and who are we to disagree? Although Keys has certainly more than proven that she's willing to push musical boundaries, the core of her music has always been a piano melody, her strong but not overly ambitions voice and a supremely honed ear for melody. In that way "Fallin" can be considered the blueprint to her music, the song by which every song she released after could be measured. When we say "that sounds like an Alicia Keys track" we're really saying "that sounds like 'Fallin' ", and there's no way a song with that much import could be left off our list. Congratulations Ms. Keys, and if you're ever looking to marry a music writer, you know where to look first.
For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.
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