Talk about pressure!
While some were surprised by the choice, given Keys’ laidback style and lack of hosting credits on her resume, the 15-time Grammy winner showed no signs of nerves when the announcement was made.
“I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy,” Keys told E! News in a statement at the time. “I’m so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and magic. I’m especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year!”
So how did Keys do in her big debut?
She was super-relaxed, chill and welcoming, why of course.
“I want everybody in here who might be feeling a little nervous, might be feeling, you know, a lot of energy. Just let your shoulders drop,” she began. “Just know I got you, I am going to take care of you tonight, I got you tonight, yes, I do.”
Anyone else already feel more relaxed?
And for Keys, it was all about the music when it came to her hosting strategy.
“Music is what we all love. Music is what it’s all about. I’m so proud to bring us together, because music is what we cry to,” she began. “It’s what we march to. It’s what we rock to. It’s what we make love to. It’s our shared global language. And when you really want to say something, you say it with a song?”
To prove her point, Keys welcomed out some of her “sisters,” which ended up being our dream Avengers team-up: Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez andMichelle Obama. Yes, Michelle Obama was at the Grammys and the crowd was loving it. Well played, Keys!
Another standout moment came when Keys took a moment to look back on one of her defining Grammy experiences…when back in 2004 she was really hoping to win Song of the Year for “If I Ain’t Got You.”
“When my hero, Stevie Wonder opened up that card and started to read in braille, I just knew he was going to feel my name. My name!” Keys reminisced…just as the footage rolled and we saw the trophy ended up actually going to John Mayer.
“But don’t worry, it’s OK! Because this story has a really happy ending. Because John said, ‘I agree, Alicia, this should have been yours,’ and he literally broke the Grammy and wrote ‘If I Ain’t Got You” with my name on it and gave it to me. Like look at what he did. [Pulls out award.] This is my half of my Grammy! This is my Hammy!”
Who should then show up on stage but the man responsible for “Daughters,” the song that took the prize from Keys, himself, holding the other half of their Grammy.
“This has got to be the coolest joint-custody agreement in showbiz history,” Mayer joked (and he wasn’t entirely wrong).
Oh, and how about the epic medley Keys’ performed halfway through the show, when she effortlessly put her spin on some songs she wish she had written herself, including “Killin’ Me Softly,” “Lucid Dreams,” “Someone Like You,” and then “Doo-Wop (That Thing)”, saying she wish the whole album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Did we mention she was playing TWO PIANOS while performing the medley, describing the set-up as Club Keys? “I want to give a shouted out to Hazel Scott because I always wanted to play two pianos,” she said, referring the classic pianist and singer.
She ended the performance with her hit song “Empire State of Mind,” explaining, “And then finally you write the song that you wish you wrote.” (Alas, Jay-Z did not make a surprise appearance.)
Keys wasn’t done gifting us with her beautiful voice, however, launching into an impromptu duet on The Miracles “Track Of My Tears” when presenting the Motown tribute with Smokey Robinson. And she made a brief but memorable appearance during Jennifer Lopez‘s medley of the iconic record company’s biggest hits.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Keys also made sure to really show the love for an artist anytime she was announcing a performance, just take a look at some of her praise:
Post Malone “Now, I’m not hard enough to know if ‘beer bong’ is, like, just one thing or two separate elements, but I do know that we’re going to feel better now. It’s about to get crazy in here!”
H.E.R.: “Right now we’ve got a dope artist who is already a Grammy winner tonight! She is completely in charge of her sound and her creative process. And that’s what makes her next.”
Cardi B “Our next performer tells it like it is and that is one of my favorite things about her. She doesn’t hold back. She is fierce and fearless and outspoken. Girl, get it! She earned five nomination this year including record and album of the year, not to mention superstar status. She’s shining bright, am I right?”
Lady Gaga “Our next performer is bold and brave and a beautiful artist, who picked picked up five nomination this year, four of them for the for the stunning Oscar-nominated song we are about to hear. She is a creative icon that never fails to go deep.”
Swiss Beatz: But her best and cutest intro was when she welcomed Eve and her husband out to present an award, saying, “He’s a Grammy award-winning super producer, A.K.A. my hubby.” They then shared a quick kiss before he got to work.
Peace and love, everyone!
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