Alicia Keys Aaliyah

Alicia Keys reveals she wrote "If I Ain't Got You" about Aaliyah who died in 2001

Alicia Keys has revealed that her hit song ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ was inspired by late singer Aaliyah. Keys made the admission during her judging stint as a host on The Voice in the US. The singer explains that she wrote the track shortly after hearing about Aaliyah’s death in 2001, adding that it remains “one of my favourite songs.”

"A lot of people have sung it on the show, which I super, super love," she says. "I actually wrote it after I heard that Aaliyah passed away. I was on a plane, and I think being on the plane and knowing she passed away after a plane crash, it was this sentiment of being present in a moment and nothing else mattering but those that you love."

While the writing process was pretty fast, Keys later explains that producing “If I Ain’t Got You” wasn’t as smooth:

"I wrote it really quickly, but in order to produce it the way that you hear it, it took forever," Alicia added. "Nothing would come out right. Every version that I did, every arrangement that I did was just wrong. It was such a labour of love."