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Alicia Keys on Hosting the Grammys: ‘It Feels Like It’s the Right Thing’

“We feel this Grammys is going to be different and bigger and better than any other,” Keys says

Amy X. Wang Feb 08, 2019

Alicia Keys. Photo: Getty Images

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Ahead of the 61st Grammy Awards this Sunday, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow and host Alicia Keys are doubling down on expressions of excitement for the slate of awards and performances.

At Thursday morning’s press preview and red carpet rollout, Keys said the production of the show has been a “collaborative process” with the Recording Academy, which puts on the ceremony each year, and that “this is a real moment” for both the artists and performers highlighted in the show and the viewers in the audience and at home.

“I am truly excited to be here hosting the Grammy Awards this year. I feel like we are truly part of a celebration, bringing the light, bringing the energy and continuing to make the statement that music is such an important part of all of our lives,” Keys said. “Sunday is going to absolutely reflect that light, that love. We feel this Grammys is going to be different and bigger and better than any other.”

Asked how she arrived at the decision to host the show, Keys replied: “The reason I felt like this was such ”” I think we all felt like this was such ”” a natural moment is because I have been so blessed to have been on this stage before, multiple times, and understand what it is, what it feels like, what the artists are going through. That’s what makes me excited to celebrate so many amazing nominees, particularly women nominees, so many who are my friends. There is a sense of true music community I can bring to the stage and I love the ability to lift each other up. It feels like it’s the right thing.” Keys added that she hopes the producers of the show are “excited about the way I have really plunged all the way in, to help bring my energy to the stage so that it feels genuine,” and that she believes the “energy you feel is going to be far different from anything you’ve ever felt.”

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Recording Academy president Neil Portnow and the show’s lead producer, Ken Ehrlich, reiterated the idea of a natural fit, calling Keys’ involvement a “shortcut in putting this whole thing on” because of her “strong and vivid connection with the Grammy institution.”

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