“Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You”


If I Ain’t Got You” is a song by American singer Alicia Keys from her second studio album The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003). Inspired by the 2001 death of Aaliyah, the terrorist September 11 attacks, and other different events in the world and in Keys’ life at that time, it is about “how material things don’t feed the soul.” Musically, the slow bluesypiano ballad features musicians Hugh McCracken on guitar and Steve Jordan on drums.

Released in February 2004 as the album’s second single, the song peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became Keys’ second consecutive R&B chart-topper, remaining atop of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for six weeks. The song received two nominations at the 2005 Grammy Awards, for Song of the Year and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, winning in the latter.

A remix featuring Usher, a Kanye West Radio Mix, and a Spanish-language version featuring Arturo Sandoval appear on the bonus CD of select international pressings of The Diary of Alicia Keys. The song is featured in the 2004 PlayStation 2 karaoke game Karaoke Revolution Volume 3.

The single cover depicts Keys similarly to the subject of Man Ray’s 1924 painting Le Violon d’Ingres.