Alicia Keys' mother taught her how to balance parenting with work.

The 'Empire State of Mind' hitmaker - who has an eight-month-old son Egypt with husband Swizz Beatz - has been inspired by the way her own mum brought her up to learn the best ways of juggling her personal and professional life.

She told BANG Showbiz: "My mother was a single mother and she balanced it and worked at it and raised me so well. There's always a way if you have the will."

The 30-year-old singer also admitted becoming a mother to baby Egypt has made her more aware of the thousands of parentless children in the world, and has made her understand more about activism. Speaking at the 2011 Keep A Child Alive Black Ball at London's Roundhouse Theatre on Tuesday (15.06.11), Alicia added: "Being a mother myself has made me think about all the children in the world who are motherless or parentless. It breaks my heart because I'm like, 'What do they do with nobody there to support them and be with them?'

"I'm a singer, an activist and a mother. I love all three very much and all three of them feed each other. Now becoming a mother makes me understand more about activism and being a mother makes me understand how dreadful it can be to never have a voice to speak to people."