Claim: The Alicia Keys song “Diary” prompted a deluge of calls to her old phone number.
Origins: The television and film industries learned long ago that mentioning a phone number in a
dial the number in pursuit of some silly amusement, so they restricted themselves to employing numbers beginning with the mostly unused 555 prefix to avoid putting innocent parties on the receiving end of those prank calls. (These days the 555 prefix is used for real numbers, but the
The same phenomenon reared its annoying head again in 2004, thanks to R&B artist Alicia Keys and her hit single “Diary.” The popular track, from the songstress’ Diary of Alicia Keys CD, included a lyric imploring the listener to give her a call at a specific phone number:
I feel such a connection
Even when you far away
Ooooh baby, if there’s anything that you fear
Come forth and call 489-4608, and I’ll be here
According to Keys’ publicist, Lois Najarian, the number given actually was Keys’ old phone number in New York, and callers who used the correct area code (347) got to listen to a recorded message from Keys (which sounded remarkably like a real person answering the phone) and were invited to leave one for her:
Hello? … Co, wassup? Word. (Laughs.) Nah, I’m jus’
Predictably, however, fans tried to reach Alicia by calling the given number in a variety of other area codes, resulting in a puzzling stream of calls to unsuspecting
residents who had never heard of Alicia Keys and knew nothing about the song “Diary.” According to the
J. D. Turner of Statesboro, Georgia, who was unlucky enough to hold the
No doubt other parties around North America found themselves having to contend with similar circumstances.
Last updated: 15 June 2010
Bragg, Holli Deal. “Hit Song Leads to Maddening Calls.” Statesboro Herald. 10 August 2004.