Growing up in Hell's Kitchen, she experienced one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City, telling Oprah in 2004 that there were "prostitutes everywhere" and "women on street corners in the dead cold of December."
"Omg! Insider" was at a screening for the Grammy winner's new flick, "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" — about two inner-city kids in the Big Apple forced to raise themselves when the authorities take their mothers away — when she revealed why she can relate to the film and just what makes it so special.
"We do often see only the glorious side of New York and there's such an authentic, beautiful, multicultural, diverse, difficult, tough side of New York that really also gives it its character," she said. "It's really a powerful depiction of real life and how struggle wields your character and how friendship helps you survive."
Check out the video to hear more about Alicia's childhood in a challenging neighborhood, and be sure to tune in to "omg! Insider" on TV tonight for the rest of her interview.
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