ALICIA KEYS FLAUNTS HER MAN

Published on: December 15, 2003

R&B SUPERSTAR Alicia Keys has finally revealed her secret boyfriend — and friends say it's to dispel false rumors that she's a lesbian.

The five-time Grammy winner has been in a long-term relationship with her record producing partner, 34-year-old Kerry Brothers, who goes by the nickname "Krucial."

But she kept their romance under wraps until the recent launch party for Alicia's new album "The Diary of Alicia Keys" at the Manhattan nightclub Eugene.

"It seemed apparent this was the night Alicia decided to show the world that Kerry was more than just her record producer," an eyewitness told The ENQUIRER. "Alicia was really on fire. She was openly kissing him. She knew the word would get out that this was her man.

It's no coincidence that this open showing of love came after some recent stories questioning her sexuality. She's not gay, and she wanted to show that she has a real boyfriend."

The 22-year-old beauty had kept a tight lid on her beau's identity because she was trying to guard their 12-year age difference, say insiders.

"It's very common in the music industry for young singers to become romantically involved with the men who discover them. Look at Celine Dion or Mariah Carey," said a music industry source who has worked with Keys and Brothers.

"I don't think Alicia wanted to be put in that category." Alicia first met Kerry when she was just 14, singing on New York City street corners for fun.

"They've formed a pretty deep bond that goes back quite a ways," a source close to the singer disclosed.

"I don't think she is homophobic, but I don't think anyone on her management team was upset that she came forward to let the world know she's dating Kerry and putting those lesbian rumors to rest." — PAOLA LEVA