Alicia Keys tells PEOPLE she got James Corden to admit she'll be better than him at hosting the Grammy Awards this year  

January 31, 2019 12:50 PM

This host is on fire!

Alicia Keys is neck-deep in planning what all she’ll do as host of this year’s Grammy Awards, but she just got a major vote of confidence.

“I called James Corden the other day and I asked him if he thought I was going to be better than him,” Keys, 38, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. Corden, who served as emcee for the 2017 and 2018 shows, was caught off guard by the good-humored question.

“He was so shocked that I asked him,” says Keys with a laugh, “then he was like, ‘Yeah! Like Yeah you’re going to be better than me!'”

RELATED: Alicia Keys Will Host the 2019 Grammy Awards: ‘I’m Soooo Excited!’

It may be her first time running the show, but the 15-time Grammy-winning musician is no newcomer to music’s biggest night. “Some things just feel right,” says Keys who scooped up five awards at her first Grammys in 2002. “I’m familiar with the space and the energy and there will be so many of my friends and people I admire.”

Jaclyn Martinez/Courtesy of AK Worldwide, Inc


As for what the “Superwoman” singer plans to do, she’s still working all of that out. “I’ve been thinking of so many things. It’s been so fun and it’s a process of course, because it’s a three-hour show. I want everyone to feel relaxed but still have that excitement. I really want to do it in a way that has never been done before.”

RELATED: Grammys 2019 Nominations: The Biggest Surprises and Snubs

Keys has some help in the planning department. “Swizz [Beatz] and I have got our brains turning,” she says of her husband of nine years helping, along with a team of talented creatives.

Jaclyn Martinez/Courtesy of AK Worldwide, Inc

And the star says she’s got something to prove: “I’m a little funny! Y’all sometimes think I’m real serious so I like this opportunity to continue to remind people that I love to have a good time.”

RELATED: Alicia Keys and Mashonda Tifrere’s Blended Family Friendship: ‘We Have Girl Talk’

Grammy Pre-parties

The good times are sure to keep rolling after her work is done. “My husband is a little bit of a party animal — he loves a good party so I have a feeling there is going to be some type of special thing that’s gonna happen afterwards and we’re going to have a ball.”

She continues, “It’s important to celebrate the little victories. Especially in times like these that feel very challenging, we tend to get very hooked up with a lot of the negative things, but there are a lot of positive things that are happening.”

The 61st Grammy Awards are broadcast live from Los Angeles Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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