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Alicia Keys fails to make BlackBerry dance, parts ways within a year

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"She's just a girl and she's on fire," so goes the Alicia Keys hit single but the same is not true for the "Girl on Fire" when it comes to her position as the global creative director of BlackBerry. The year of the wooden horse kicks off with the company announcing that it will be parting ways with the multi-awarded singer on Jan. 30.

Keys became the in-house celebrity of BlackBerry in January 2013 and was primarily tasked to entice consumption and distribution of entertainment content while collaborating with other entertainers, app developers, carriers, retailers and content creators. The singer was formally introduced as the global creative director of the brand during the glitzy launch of BlackBerry 10 in New York.

Donning her role for BlackBerry, the artist attended several corporate events and pushed for the brand through social media. However, no one can forget the time when Keys tweeted from an iPhone roughly a month after becoming the brand's global creative director. She later claimed that her Twitter account was compromised.

"We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual," BlackBerry told CTV News in a statement.

It can also be a case of a house cleanup after new chief executive John Chen took the helm from former CEO Thorsten Heins in November. During that period, top executives such as CFO Brian Bidulka, CMO Frank Boulben, and COO Kristian Tear also left the company. The new chief executive also intends to focus on the company's enterprise business, the cash cow for BlackBerry, instead of chasing after the retail market glued on iPhone.

"It might also just be that Chen and the company's new management realize that a thinly veiled PR arrangement with a celebrity whose fame arguably peaked a while ago isn't the best use of company resources. Keys has obviously been little more than a highly paid spokesperson for the company, despite the seemingly meaty title, and coming off a quarter where it posted a $4.4 billion loss, even perceived waste isn't something they want kicking around," Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch analyzed in his report.

With Alicia Keys out, the singer might be humming to the tune of her single "Doesn't Mean Anything" as she tweets "Wishing u a blissful new year! Let go of our shadows; Old things,old thoughts, old ways. Lets step nto our light! Here's 2 the best 2 come!"

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