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Alicia Keys to leave BlackBerry at the end of the month

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys will end her role within BlackBerry at the end of January, one year after joining the company as its global creative director.

In a statement, the smartphone company said: "BlackBerry and Alicia Keys have completed our year-long collaboration. We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual."

The move comes as the company looks to retreat from the consumer market in order to focus on business and government customers.

In the year since Keys joined BlackBerry the company has been beset with problems. Sales fell drastically, leading to a loss of almost a billion dollars in the second quarter. The company also failed to find a buyer after putting itself up for sale towards the end of last year.

The Blackberry 10 devices that launched at the same time as Keys joined failed to win back the market share lost to Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's ubiquitous Android operating system.

During her time at the company Keys was involved with BlackBerry's Keep Moving project.

Taking on the job last January, Keys said: "I was in a long-term relationship with BlackBerry, then I noticed hotter, more attractive sexier phones at the gym. So I broke up with you for a while. I missed the way you organised my life, so I carried two phones and played the field a bit.

"But then you gave me a call, told me you'd been working out. Now I'm happy to announce we're exclusively dating again!"