Release date: November 2007
As I Am is the third studio album by American R&B and soul musician Alicia Keys, released November 13, 2007 on J Records in the United States. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 742,000 copies in its first week, and eventually earned triple platinum certification from the RIAA. It became an international commercial success and produced four singles that achieved chart success, including "No One", which became the most listened song of 2007 in America. Despite mixed criticism towards Keys' songwriting, As I Am received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned Keys several accolades, including three Grammy Awards. It has sold over five million copies worldwide.
Keys had been working on the album since late 2005, but focused on it to a greater extent in 2006. She first mentioned the album's name to E!News reporter Giuliana Rancic on June 26, 2007 at the BET Awards red carpet pre-show. During the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards she confirmed that her album was finished. Earlier Keys had said to MTV: "It's coming together incredibly. I am in love with this album. It's very fresh and new."
The album was heavily promoted, and special advertising was arranged in collaboration with MTV before and during the week of release. The entire album was streamed on MTV's website, beginning on November 6, 2007, a week before the album's North American release date. Additionally, Keys was MTV's Artist of the Week for the week beginning November 12, 2007. MTV commissioned Evan Silver to direct a series of nine humorous ads of Keys being harassed by someone in a bunny costume. In the final spot, the bunny is revealed to be John Mayer.
A limited number of vinyl records were pressed on double red vinyl at Nashville's historic United Record Pressing. They contain the fourteen standard tracks divided into two vinyls with seven tracks each.
The album became Keys' fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200, selling 742,000 copies in its first week; this amount is the largest ever first-week sales for any female artist since Norah Jones' Feels like Home sold one million copies in its opening week in 2004. This made Keys' third consecutive multi-platinum studio album in the United States. The album spawned four singles; two of them became number-one hits on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while the others entered the top three and the top fifteen respectively. As I Am was ranked the U.S.' best-selling album overall and the best-selling R&B album of 2008 by Billboard, while its lead single, "No One", became the most listened song in America that same year. As I Am has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA as of January 3, 2008. It is the fourth best-selling album of 2007 in the United States and the best-selling album of 2008. In 2010, Billboard magazine named it the seventy-sixth most successful album of the decade. The album has sold over five million copies worldwide.
The album was number thirty-six on Rolling's list of the Top 50 Albums of 2007. The song "Teenage Love Affair" was number twenty-three on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. As I Am received two Grammy Awards for the song "No One" at the 2008 ceremony for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. The following year, she won the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Superwoman" and received two more nominations for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Lesson Learned" along with John Mayer and Best Short Form Music Video for "Another Way to Die" along with Jack White at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The album won a 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Album, while "Like You'll Never See Me Again" won for Outstanding Song and Outstanding Music Video. At the 2009 NAACP Image Awards, the "Superwoman" was nominated for Outstanding Song and Outstanding Music Video; it lost both categories to will.i.am's "Yes We Can". "Like You'll Never See Me Again" was nominated for the BET Award for Video of the Year in 2008. The album won two 2008 American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. As I Am received a nomination for Album of the Year at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked it number thirty-three in its Best Albums of the Past 25 Years list.