Alicia Keys has admitted she would not be where she is without the support of her mother. So, who is the mother of one of the biggest vocalists in the world? Here’s everything you need to know about Terria Joseph.
Terria Was A Single Mother
Terria was shocked when she found out she was pregnant with Alicia, as she wasn’t in a relationship and had been casually dating. She has been open about the fact that she nearly aborted Alicia and even made the appointment for the procedure, which she recalled in the premiere episode of her daughter’s YouTube show, NOTED: Alicia Keys The Untold Story.
Alicia’s father, Craig Cook, was never in the picture. Terria admitted there was one point when Alicia was 6 years old during which she thought Craig wanted to be with her and form a family, but he ended up going back to a previous girlfriend. “I was like, shocked,” she recalled. “Which was the beginning of me feeling like nobody really cares about me.”
She also told Alicia in their conversation she never depended on another person, and was very aware that it would just be the two of them against the world.
Terria Had Dreams Of Being A Broadway Star
Before Alicia was born, Terria moved to New York after her dance teacher complimented her skill and pushed her to learn how to act. From that point on, Terria was set on making it as a Broadway Star. She did land some gigs as a professional actress and even once worked with Morgan Freeman. However, she didn’t have the big break so many yearn for, so she supported her and Alicia through paralegal work. “[My income] always had to be supplemented another way,” she said to Alicia in NOTED: Alicia Keys The Untold Story.
Alicia Has Nothing But Love and Respect For Her Mom
Alicia absolutely adores her mom, and she’s made it clear on several occasions. In 2021, Alicia wished her mother a happy birthday by gushing about how inspiring she is and calling her “the most extraordinary woman” she knows. She continued: “Your life is so precious to me … You gave me everything … I owe you everything … You are so fun, smart and intelligent … You make me laugh, u make me better, u made me everything I am.”
And in a 2015 speech she gave after being honored at the Harlem School of the Arts’ 50th anniversary gala, she made it known that there would be no Alicia without Terria. “Tonight, this honor here is really all about my mother,” she said (via Variety). “I want to thank her for all the Sundays she played Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington on vinyl. I want to thank her for being my mother, my father, my best friend, and my biggest fan — even when nobody knew a thing about me.” She then thanked her mother for being an “example of dedication, of loyalty, of determination, of dreams, of compassion, of kindness, reciprocity, and womanhood.” She concluded her speech by saying, “Without you, there would be no me, and that’s actually and artfully.”
Continuing her message of gratitude toward her mother in NOTED: Alicia Keys The Untold Story, she praised her mom for being a “fiery” leader who always supported her. “She had to work so hard to provide us with the bare minimum,” she explained.
Terria Is Now An Advocate For The Youth’s Mental Health
Aside from being Alicia’s No. 1 fan, Terria is the co-founder of YourMomCares, an organization created to provide support for kids struggling with their mental health. She founded it alongside other celebrity mothers, Sharon Feldstein (Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein’s mom) and Patsy Noah (Adam Levine’s Mom).