We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Business News

Alicia Keys to leave BlackBerry after just one year as 'creative director''

Singer cuts ties with the struggling smartphone-maker

She was a Girl of Fire but's no longer a girl on a Blackberry's pay roll.

Singer Alicia Keys will cut ties with the struggling smartphone-maker at the end of January.

That's just one year after the Grammy-winner was hired as BlackBerry’s "global creative director" to a fanfare.

Keys was bought on board when the tech group launched its long-delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system and new phone last January.

It was seen as a last-ditch attempt to win back market share from Apple's soaringly-successful iPhone and handsets running on Google's Android system.

But the newly-launched BlackBerry 10 flopped, triggering billions of dollars in losses and forcing the firm to axe both staff and executives, including firing its chief executive Thorsten Heins  – the one who hired Keys. 

Heins left with a $22 million pay off in November, and was replaced by current boss John Chen.

The major part of Keys' role at BlackBerry saw her encourage fans to submit photographs that later appeared in music videos tied to her tour. But she faced embarrassment, too, as shortly after taking the job, a tweet from her Twitter account was labelled as being sent from an iPhone.

Keys said at the time that her Twitter account had been hacked.