U.S. singer Alicia Keys has been named the global creative director for BlackBerry, part of the Canadian smartphone firm's major launch announcement on Wednesday.

"She believes in the product and technology," BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement. "We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to  help shape our brand and grow our business."


Alicia Keys, seen performing at the People's Choice Awards earlier this month, said she wants to bridge the gap between a smartphone for work and one for play. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

The 14-time Grammy-winner joined Heins onstage in New York Wednesday morning to discuss her new role.

Keys said she looked forward to working closely with app developers, designers, content creators and others —— including filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and author Neil Gaiman — on creating original content. For instance, she said she'll use her new BlackBerry to create unique music videos while on her latest tour.

Keys also issued a challenge for others, from artists to athletes, to create for the BlackBerry 10 platform.

"I want to bridge the gap between the work phone and the play phone," she noted.

"As global creative director, my goal is to inspire creativity with this platform, and I'm so excited to jump right in."