Songs in A Minor is the debut studio album by American recording artist Alicia Keys. It was released in the United States on June 5, 2001 by J Records. After graduating from high school, Keys signed with Columbia Records to begin her music career. She recorded an album in 1998 under the label, which they rejected. Her contract subsequently ended with Columbia after a dispute with the label, and Keys later signed with Clive Davis. An accomplished, classically-trained pianist, Keys wrote, arranged and produced a majority of the tracks on the album. Contrary to its title, the album contains only one song, "Jane Doe", in the key of A minor.
Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who noted her ability to catch an old-school jazz sound and mix it with R&B and soul melodies. Keys was compared by critics to such artists as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday, Prince and Lauryn Hill. The album earned Keys several awards and accolades, including five Grammy Awards at the 44th Grammy Awards. Songs in A Minor debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 236,000 copies in its first week. It has sold over 6.2 million copies in the United States and twelve million copies worldwide. Rolling Stone magazine named Songs in A Minor the second best album of 2001, while ranking it number 95 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s decade.