(AllHipHop News) Alicia Keys vowed never to be robbed of her “power” again after a “sleazy” photographer made her flash some skin for a magazine cover shoot when she was just 19.
The “Girl on Fire” hitmaker recalls the alarming incident in her new memoir, “More Myself: A Journey,” revealing the snapper, who she doesn’t name, convinced her managers he needed to conduct the photo session alone – and then proceeded to coerce the singer into showing more than she was comfortable with.
“Open up your shirt a little,” she recalls being told. “Pull the top of your jeans down a bit in the front.”
“My spirit is screaming that something is wrong, that this feels sleazy. But my protests, lodged in the back of my throat, can’t make their way out,” Keys writes. “I swallow my misgivings, tuck my thumb between the denim and my skin, and obey.”
The then-teenage musician, who was gearing up to release her Grammy-winning debut album “Songs in A Minor,” ended up breaking down in tears once she returned home from the shoot.
“This isn’t about me showing some skin, which I’ll do on my own terms, for my own purposes, in the coming years,” she explains. “It’s about feeling manipulated. It’s about being objectified.”
Keys felt sick all over again when the magazine hit newsstands months later, making her feel “embarrassed” and “ashamed” at failing to stand up for herself, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.
Admitting her manager at the time was also appalled by the sexy snaps, she continues, “I now understand why the photographer wanted my team out of that room. A nineteen-year-old girl is more pliable than a set of her grown-a** managers.”
Keys subsequently learned a valuable lesson from the controversy: “I swear that I’ll never again let someone rob me of my power,” she remembers promising herself.
“It’s a promise I still work to keep,” she adds.
“More Myself: A Journey” was released on Tuesday.