Alicia Keys wrote 'If I Ain't Got You' about Aaliyah

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Alicia Keys has revealed that her hit song 'If I Ain't Got You' was inspired by late singer Aaliyah.

In a clip for The Voice, Alicia explains that she wrote the track pretty soon after hearing about Aaliyah's death in a plane crash in 2001, adding that it remains "one of my favourite songs".

"I was on a plane and I think being on the plane and knowing she passed away after a plane crash, there was just this sentiment of being present in the moment and really like nothing else mattering but those that you love," she recalled.

"I think that that feeling was really present in my life at that time and really right in my face."

And while writing the track came easily, creating it wasn't as smooth.

"I wrote it really quickly, but in order to produce it the way that you hear it, it took forever," Alicia added. "Nothing would come out right. Every version that I did, every arrangement that I did was just wrong. It was such a labour of love."

'If I Ain't Got You' was included on Alicia's second album The Diary of Alicia Keys, with the single peaking at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and winning Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Back in December, Drake unveiled 'Talk Is Cheap', which featured previously unheard vocals by Aaliyah.

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