Blackberry hands in its Keys -

Popular beat combo artist Alicia Keys has given up on hawking Blackberry just a year after starting as the outfit’s "global creative director".

Blackberry has confirmed the singer's upcoming departure which is being touted as the firms exit from consumer toys to focus on businesses, governments and other large organisations.

The PR spinner described the move as “completing our year-long collaboration” and said the company enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual.

It seems a long time ago but Keys was hired when the company launched its long-delayed BlackBerry 10 devices in January of last year. The Blackberry 10 was supposed to be the company’s last chance to save itself.

It did not work. Sales flopped, triggering billions of dollars in losses and forcing BlackBerry to slash its staff. Recently the company has tried and failed to sell itself. The chief executive who hired Keys has left, along with many of his senior executives.

Keys contributed to a collaborative project encouraging fans to submit photographs that later appeared in music videos tied to her tour.