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Alicia Keys says her mother Terria taught empathy amid upbringing in gritty NYC in her new book

 Alicia Keys was in an Empire State of Mind long before her hit single with Jay-Z.

The 39-year-old singer took to Instagram on Monday with a clip of herself and her mother Terria Joseph, 69, narrating a passage from her new book More Myself: A Journey, and explaining on the upbringing she had in gritty New York City, and ways she adapted to the environment.

‘Growing up in these Hell’s Kitchen streets taught me A LOT. I realize there’s a certain amount of armor u have to wear just to make it down the street,’ she captioned the clip.

Aww: Alicia Keys took to Instagram on Monday with a clip of herself and her mother Terria Joseph, 69, narrating a passage from her new book

Aww: Alicia Keys took to Instagram on Monday with a clip of herself and her mother Terria Joseph, 69, narrating a passage from her new book

Like mother, like daughter: Alicia and her mother Terria seen together in October 2015

Like mother, like daughter: Alicia and her mother Terria seen together in October 2015

In the clip, the Empire State of Mind songstress recalled how she would ask her mother Terria about prostitutes when she would see them walking the streets in scantily clad outfits on a ‘dead-cold day’ on 11th Avenue.

‘There on the corner stand three women, each rubbing her hands together to stay warm,’ she said. ‘All in brightly colored knit dresses with hemlines that end miles above their knees. One is wearing fishnet stocking that reveals flashes of her bare skin, another is wearing black boots that extend the full length of her thighs – none are wearing coats.’

She said she asked her mother why they were out there dressed like that, and her mom told her that when people go through hard times, they have to do things they don’t want to do in an effort to survive.

Back in the day: The 39-year-old singer is set to release book More Myself: A Journey, and explaining on the upbringing she had in gritty New York City, and ways she adapted to the environment

Back in the day: The 39-year-old singer is set to release book More Myself: A Journey, and explaining on the upbringing she had in gritty New York City, and ways she adapted to the environment

Bond: In the clip, the Empire State of Mind songstress recalled how she would ask her mother Terria about prostitutes when she would see them walking the streets in scantily clad outfits on a 'dead-cold day' on 11th Avenue

Bond: In the clip, the Empire State of Mind songstress recalled how she would ask her mother Terria about prostitutes when she would see them walking the streets in scantily clad outfits on a ‘dead-cold day’ on 11th Avenue

Keys, who has two children with husband Swizz Beatz, 41 – nine-year-old son Egypt and five-year-old Genesis – described the gritty surroundings she grew up in, speaking to the AP about she always wore plain, baggy outfits when venturing out.

‘There were pimps and prostitutes everywhere,’ she said. ‘There were those XXX-theaters everywhere. … Besides that, heroin addicts, crack addicts, drug addicts – those streets were filled with all those people and all those situations.

She said she asked her mother why they were out there dressed like that, and her mom told her that when people go through hard times, they have to do things they don't want to do in an effort to survive

She said she asked her mother why they were out there dressed like that, and her mom told her that when people go through hard times, they have to do things they don’t want to do in an effort to survive

Stunning: A throwback image of Terria

Stunning: A throwback image of Terria 

‘As a young woman, I definitely learned early how to call the least attention to myself possible. How could I get through those spaces unnoticed?’ 

She added: ‘In order to do that, I was definitely not about having some bright clothes on or some short skirt on or some long nails on. That was the antithesis of what I had to do in order to be separate from that space that I was walking in.’

Keys in the social media post credited her mother for her wisdom and life lessons in the clip, which was accompanied by a montage of vintage shots of the mother and daughter in a sepia tone.

Just us: The mother and daughter certainly seemed to have a close relationship

Just us: The mother and daughter certainly seemed to have a close relationship

Lots of love: The photos were sepia in tone

Lots of love: The photos were sepia in tone

‘Mommy raised me on her own and she always taught me so much. The hard truths even when I was too young to understand,’ the Grammy-winner said. ‘Mostly she taught me a lot about empathy. I always promised myself I would never be [vulnerable] and exposed. I realize I carried that with me for so long.

‘Now I’m ready to be more open. More [vulnerable].⁣’

The If I Ain’t Got You performer, whose real name is Alicia Augello Cook reminded fans that More Myself: A Journey goes on sale Tuesday, adding, ‘Thank you for your love! I Can’t wait to share with you.’

Coming soon: More Myself: A Journey releases on Tuesday

Coming soon: More Myself: A Journey releases on Tuesday 

 



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Written by Angle News

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