When it comes to reproductive rights and the stigma around abortion, Alicia Keys understands what it's like to make a difficult decision. In her new book More Myself, Alicia opened up about her personal struggle in deciding whether or not to go through with her second pregnancy in 2014 after finding out she was pregnant four months in. At the time, the "Underdog" singer, who married producer and rapper Swizz Beatz in 2010, was a mother of one working on her sixth studio album Here and was not prepared to take on the responsibility of having another child.
"The music I was creating felt more important and urgent than just about everything."
"I wasn't ready for this, which is what I told the doctor," Alicia told People in a recent interview. "'This is the worst time ever. I'm working on my next album. My husband just got into Harvard Business School. And I've been drinking — a lot.' I left her office feeling so torn."
Alicia said that she had planned to focus heavily on her career that year, and the unexpected news made her contemplate whether or not she wanted to go through with the pregnancy. "The music I was creating felt more important and urgent than just about everything," Alicia said. I'd have to put off its release for at least a year if I chose to have the baby."
During a studio session, Alicia had an epiphany while listening to a song she and her husband had worked on together. "While I was struggling over my choice, I went into the studio one evening and began listening to 'More Than We Know,' a song Swizz and I had written," Alicia continued. "The lyrics are about how we're capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. My eyes filled with tears. How could I take away the potential for this beautiful child, this light that could touch others in ways I couldn't dream of. For me, the song was a powerful message that I should go on with the pregnancy."
Alicia and Swizz welcomed their second son Genesis in Dec. 2014. Since then, Alicia has learned that her mother also considered getting an abortion when she was pregnant with the star. Ultimately, her mother decided to go through with the pregnancy and raise Alicia on her own after a brief relationship with her father. "It wasn't until writing this that I realised, 'Oh s—, she chose me,' even through all the difficulties," Alicia said. "How would she ever know what I was brought here to do? In a way we are parallel, but I didn't even know that."
Today, the singer enjoys spending time with her two sons — 9-year-old Egypt and 5-year-old Genesis — and teaching them to express themselves creatively.