Unbreakable (Alicia Keys song)

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Unbreakable single cover.jpg
Single by Alicia Keys
from the album Unplugged
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2005 (2005-09-06)
RecordedJuly 4, 2005
StudioBrooklyn Academy of Music (New York, New York)
  • 4:34 (Album version)
  • 4:14 (Radio edit)
Producer(s)Alex Coletti
Alicia Keys singles chronology
"Don't Give Up (Africa)"
Music video
"Unbreakable" on YouTube
Music video
"Unbreakable (Live)" on YouTube

"Unbreakable" is a song by American R&B-soul singer Alicia Keys from her live album, Unplugged (2005). Written by Keys, Kanye West, and Harold Lilly, the track features a Wurlitzer riff, and is built around a sample of Eddie Kendricks' 1977 song "Intimate Friends", written by Garry Glenn. It was released as the album's lead single in 2005 and peaked at number thirty-four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Keys' first single to miss the top twenty since 2002's "How Come You Don't Call Me", and failed to peak inside the top forty on Billboard Pop 100. It was nevertheless a big success on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it landed at number four.

The lyrics mention names of notable couples Ike and Tina Turner, Bill and Camille Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham, Florida and James Evans, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons, and Joe and Katherine Jackson, as well as The Jackson 5.

The song received nominations for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2006 Grammy Awards which were awarded to "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey. It also won two NAACP Image Award, for "Outstanding Song" and "Outstanding Music Video".

This song was written in 2003 to be included on The Diary of Alicia Keys, but was omitted in favor of "Diary", and nearly missed the album Unplugged. She said, "The song was always one of my favorites, but I did not think it would fit well into my second album".

Critical reception[edit]

Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the song "doesn't aim for timelessness" as "it's as full of topical references as a hip-hop song".[1]

Music video[edit]

Two music videos were produced for the song:

  • Unplugged Version, directed by Alex Coletti
  • BET Version, directed by Justin Francis

Track listings[edit]

  • US 12" single[2]
A. "Unbreakable" (Radio Mix) – 4:14
B. "Unbreakable" (Radio Mix) – 4:14
  • US promotional CD single[3]
  1. "Unbreakable" (Radio Edit) – 4:14
  2. "Unbreakable" (Call Out Hook) – 0:10
  3. "Unbreakable" (Radio Edit) (MP3 format) – 4:14
  • US promotional DVD single[4]
  1. "Unbreakable" (BET Video)


Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States September 6, 2005 Urban contemporary J [10]
October 11, 2005 12" [11]


  1. ^ Pareles, Jon (2005-10-16). "Border-Hopping From Colombia to the Street Parties of New Orleans". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  2. ^ Unbreakable (US 12-inch single vinyl disc). Alicia Keys. J Records. 2005. 82876 74526 1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  3. ^ Unbreakable (US promotional CD single liner notes). Alicia Keys. J Records. 2005. 82876-72905-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ Unbreakable (US promotional DVD single liner notes). Alicia Keys. J Records. 2005. None.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ "Artist Chart History – Alicia Keys". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  6. ^ "Alicia Keys Chart History (Adult R&B Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Alicia Keys Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "2005 Year End Charts – Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 26, 2005. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  9. ^ "Year-End Charts – Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Titles – 2006". Billboard.biz. 2006. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "R&R's Going For Adds: Week Of 09/05/05" (PDF). Radio & Records. September 2, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  11. ^ "Unbreakable [12" Single]". AllMusic. October 11, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2021.

External links[edit]