"When I heard about the eight nominations for this year, I was completely blown away," she told The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman. "You know, it's not something that you expect, or, you know, you completely don't expect it."
The song "If I Ain't Got You" made her album, "The Diary of Alicia Keys" No. 1 on the Billboard charts in its first week of release.
Kauffman caught up with Keys at rehearsals for the annual Clive Davis Grammy party, where the legendary producer was singing her praises. "When you look at Alicia Keys," Davis said, "when you see her sit down at the keyboard, when you hear her music…she is the best of old soul, she's the best of new young contemporary, whether it's hip-hop, whether it's urban, or R&B, it makes no difference, and she is just electrifying."
"You have said," Kauffman remarked to Keys, "that Clive Davis let you be you."
"He didn't try to turn you into somebody else."
"Absolutely. He has always supported me as an individual, someone who is very much in control of my life, my career, my sound, my music."
Keys' duet withis nominated for best R&B performance by a duo, and for best R&B song. Usher also will be at the Davis party, as will Best New Artist nominee Maroon Five.
"American Idol" winneris joining the party as well.
"There's got to be some pressure," Kauffman suggested, "performing in front of your peers."
"Actually," Fantasia responded, "I feel really honored to be in a room with so many awesome people. So many amazing people. There's a lot of amazing people performing. Miss Alicia Keys, my favorite!"
"I love performing," Keys says. "I'm so comfortable in performing. I love being on stage. I love being able to give the heart and soul that made me create the songs, to re-live it again during a performance. So, performing at the pre-Grammy party for Clive Davis and of course at the Grammys, it's always a big honor.
"It's definitely a prestigious night. And I always feel very honored to be a part of it, and honored to be nominated."
"Keys is one of those candidates for an all-timer," Davis asserts. "You just know that 20, 30, 40 years from now, they'll be listening."
Keys will be performing at the Grammys alongside fellow nominee Jamie Foxx. He's not only nominated for two Oscars, he's also up for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Collaboration.