Alicia Keys Surprises Grammys With Powerful Opening Featuring Michelle Obama, J.Lo, & Gaga

In an incredible empowering moment for women, Alicia Keys kicked off the Grammys by Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez AND Michelle Obama join her on stage to speak on the power of music!

If you ask Alicia Keys, 38, to host your awards show, she’s going to kick off the show in an amazing way. The music superstar and host of the 2019 Grammy Awards did just that on Feb. 10. As the show was starting at the Staples Center out in Los Angeles, Alicia spoke about the transformative power of music. But, instead of being the only person singing the praises of music, she had a surprise. Suddenly, out came Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama! While each took their turn to talk about how music changed their respective life for the better, once Michelle took the mic…whoa. The cheers from the crowd were deafening.

“We have a show to do,” Michelle said, before talking about how “the Motown records I wore out on the Southside to the ‘Who Run The World’ songs that fueled me through the last decade, music has always helped me tell my story…whether we like country, or rap, or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys.” The call for unity through music was a powerful statement, one that was topped when Alicia, at the end of the opening, had one thing to ask: “who runs the world?”

“There’s a sense of community that I want to bring to the stage,” Alicia Keys told Billboard ahead of her hosting duties. “So many times you come to these things as an artist and you’re juggling so many things and there’s so much pressure on you. I would love to ensure the peace and the good energy in the room so that our shoulders can all drop and we can feel the true blessing of having music as a universal language.” The Grammys, Alicia, will “be about the celebration and the power of music.”

“We’re all very excited, and the energy you’re going to feel is far different than anything you’ve ever felt,” she said. Considering that women, per Billboard, will have a larger presence at this year’s Grammys ceremony after being “nearly muted” the prior year, Alicia is right. Women hold the majority in two of the top categories, Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

Plus, Alicia is the first female to host the ceremony in over a decade. Though the ceremony went host-less from 2006 to 2011, LL Cool J and James Corden steered the ship in the following seven years. The last woman to host the show was Queen Latifah in 2005. “Celebrating so many amazing nominees, particularly women nominees … is so incredibly magnificent and so many are my friends,” said Alicia. After that opening, we’re all celebrating Alicia!

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