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Top 10 American Songs–"Fallin'"–Alicia Keys
"Fallin'" is an R&B and Soul song by Alicia Keys. Released in 2001, it was the first single release of Keys' career and became a worldwide hit. Written, produced, and performed by Keys herself, the song reflected her singer-songwriter image and sent her on her way to a successful recording career.
"Fallin'" was featured on Alicia Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor. A romantic song with gospel influences, "Fallin'" was based on one of Keys' past relationships. Interestingly, it almost ended up being recorded by Kim Scott. Her record label pushed hard to have Scott record the song but when Clive Davis bought out Keys' record deal with Sony and signed her on to his own label, she recorded it herself.
Unlike other R&B videos of the decade, the music video for "Fallin'" features no dancing. Instead, it follows a storyline based on the song's lyrics, showing Keys visiting her boyfriend in prison. The video was directed by Chris Robinson.
Critics loved the song and compared Alicia Keys to R&B legend Aretha Franklin. It was considered to be one of the best songs released in 2001, and featured on several decade-end lists as well. At the 2002 Grammy Awards, the song received nominations in four categories—Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Female Vocal Performance, and Record of the Year. It won three out of four, losing Record of the Year to U2's "Walk On."
"Fallin'" hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs charts. In the UK, it peaked out at number 3. Despite being her debut single, it is one of the most successful singles of Alicia Keys' career, topped only by "No One."