New Delhi, July 15: Had it not been for her music and dance classes, Alicia Keys is sure that she would have landed in serious trouble as a kid.
The ``No One`` singer grew up in the Hell``s Kitchen district of New York.
She told Britain``s Sunday Times News Review magazine how grateful she is that her mother Terri Augello sent her to dance and music lessons, reports China Daily.
"It was the best thing she ever did for me," she said.
"I``d go and hang out with my friends, but would only do it for 45 minutes as I had to get to my next class.
"My extracurricular lessons gave me a real sense of focus and drive and they helped to keep me out of trouble."
"Gang culture was everywhere and there were altercations all the time.
"You``d often find yourself in situations where you wished you had something more than just your hands.
"So I would carry around a little shank, a home made knife. When my mother found it she was so upset and couldn``t understand why I had it. I needed a knife, just in case. I definitely understand that feeling of wanting to protect yourself."