Alicia Augello Cook, known by the pseudonym Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. An accomplished pianist, Keys incorporates piano into a majority of her songs and often writes about love, heartbreak and female empowerment. Keys has a three octave contralto vocal range. Her explanation on why she chose her stage name: "It's like the piano keys. And it can open so many doors." Keys' father is African American and her mother is of half-Italian and half-British (English and Scottish) and Irish descent. Keys has expressed that she was comfortable with her biracial heritage because she felt she was able to "relate to different cultures".