Fans of Alicia Keys keep calling her number, but it’s J.D. Turner of Statesboro, Ga., who picks up the phone. The retired pastor has the unfortunate luck of having the same phone number that Keys references in her love song, “Diary,” which is a top 5 hit on Billboard’s R&B/ Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
“I get 20 to 25 calls a day,” Turner says. “Sometimes at 4:30 a.m., and they say, ‘I want to talk to Alicia Keys.'”
In the song, Keys sings, “Oooo baby, if there’s anything that you fear / Come forth and call 489-4608 and I’ll be here.” Using the number in the song was “just Alicia inserting herself into her music,” her publicist says. “Certainly she is not targeting this man in Georgia.”
The number was Keys’ when she lived in New York, where, with a 347 area code, it is still active and fans can reach a recorded message.
But many people keep calling Turner’s number, which has a 912 area code. “I don’t want to change my number,” said Turner. “I’ve had the same number for 14 years.”
Turner now has caller ID, but that doesn’t stop calls from coming in. A Frontier Telephone company representative suggested he use a service that allows only approved callers to get through.
It’s certainly not the first time a song has inspired listeners to let their fingers do the walking. In 1982, Tommy Tutone’s No. 4 Billboard Hot 100 hit “867-5309” had fans dialing to speak to the object of the song’s affection, “Jenny.” The swing classic “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” popularized by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, undoubtedly did the same.
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