Alicia Keys, who recently released a line of shoes with Reebok, has now signed up to sell BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced today that the Grammy Award-winning singer would be the company’s new global creative director.
Last year, Keys released the well-received album Girl on Fire, but the performer has been pushing into areas beyond music. Keys and her production company, AK Worldwide, recently worked with Bento Box Interactive on “The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee,” a storytelling app targeted at young children that is meant to spur a love of reading. She’s also written music for and produced a Broadway play “Stick Fly,” and is the executive producer of a coming feature film, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.
So what does the singer know about business? When I talked to Keys about some of her ventures late last year, well before the BlackBerry announcement, she told me she was immersed in the details of her collaborations.
“They probably hate me,” Keys joked about her collaboration with Reebok. “I was like, ‘I don’t like it, let’s try this, let’s try that. Let’s fix these colors; can we take that away?’ There’s a lot of back and forth.”
Here’s what BlackBerry said about Keys in a press release:
At the close of its BlackBerry 10 launch event today, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins introduced 14-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and entrepreneur, Grammy Award winning-singer, songwriter and entrepreneur, Alicia Keys, as BlackBerry’s new Global Creative Director. As an official member of the BlackBerry team, Keys will lead an array of new business initiatives that will drive engagement with BlackBerry and perception of the brand.
“Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to ‘Keep Moving’: to empower people through mobile computing and communications,” said Heins. “We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business.”
In her new role, Keys will work closely with app developers, content creators, retailers, carriers and the entertainment community to further shape and enhance the BlackBerry 10 platform, and inspire creative use through its remarkable capabilities and functionality. From music to books, to film, to apps, Keys will lead the charge of enhancing entertainment consumption and distribution, through the power of BlackBerry 10.
“Staying connected has become a vital part of my creative process,” said Keys. “I have been using the BlackBerry 10 for a few weeks now, and I’m truly inspired by its innovation…
Read more: WSJ