Alicia Keys will be hosting the 61st Annual Grammy Awards — set to take place Feb. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles

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January 15, 2019 10:30 AM
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The Oscars may still be without a host, but the Grammys have found theirs!

On Tuesday, “Fallin'” singer Alicia Keys announced that she’ll be hosting the 61st Annual Grammy Awards — set to take place Feb. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“I’m soooo EXCITED,” Keys, 37, said on YouTube. “There’s so much in store and I CAN’T WAIT for y’all to see it ALL come to life.”

Alicia Keys
Jaclyn Martinez/Courtesy of AK Worldwide, Inc

She shared the news on social media with a video, shot while Keys learned the news over the phone that she got the gig. “Wait a minute? What, wait? Are you serious!?” Keys said, cheering. “Ahhh!”

“I know what it feels like to be on that stage and I know what it feels like to be proud of the work that you’ve put in, and to be recognized for it. And I just feel grateful that I’m able to bring that light and that energy,” she said in the video. “This is a first. It’s a first. It’s amazing. And I think it’s perfect timing. Honestly, I’m really excited. I feel really good about it, because I feel like it’s the perfect opportunity to give the light back [and] to lift people up, especially all the young women who are nominated. To me, it feels like sister vibes.”

The clip also followed Keys as she shot promos for the show, and spread the good news to her mom, husband Swizz Beatz, and her two sons — Egypt Daoud, 8, and Genesis Ali, 4.

“What’s the Grammys?” Egypt hilariously asked.

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Keys is a 15-time Grammy winner herself, earning five of them for her debut album, 2001’s Songs in A Minor.

“A dynamic artist with the rare combination of groundbreaking talent and passion for her craft, Alicia Keys is the perfect choice as host for our show,” Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “Throughout her exciting career, I have watched her become a powerful force within the music industry and beyond. As an artist who speaks to the power of music, we are thrilled to have her on board for what’s sure to be an unforgettable GRAMMY Awards.”

“Alicia is one of those rare artists who meld true musical genius with heartfelt emotional lyrics to create a unique approach to everything she does. We have no doubt that she’ll bring all of that as she guides millions of GRAMMY viewers through what we believe will be a very special show in February,” added longtime GRAMMY Awards Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich.

Continued Keys herself in the release: “I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy. 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! It’s going ‘UP’ on February 10!”

Alicia Keys
SGranitz/WireImage

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The nominees for the Grammys were announced back in December.

While Kendrick Lamar leads the pack with a total of eight nominations, this year’s crop of nominees features a strong showing from women, almost a year after Portnow received backlash for saying female artists need “to step up” when asked for his thoughts on why males dominated the 2018 Grammy Awards.

Five of the eight album of the year nominees for 2019 are women.

It’s a particularly momentous time for rapper Cardi B, who is nominated for a total of five awards, including the coveted album of the year title. Country darlings Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris were able to transcend their genre by earning nods in the album of the year and record of the year categories, respectively, while folk rocker (and critical favorite) Brandi Carlile earned a total of six nominations, including nods for album, record and song of the year.

Kasey Musgraves, Drake, and Cardi B
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; Theo Wargo/Getty

It was also a big year for music in film as the soundtrack for Black Panther scored an album of the year nomination and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born received four nominations, including record and song of the year. (Gaga scored five nominations herself.)

Notably, there are two artists who have been nominated posthumously this year — late rapper Mac Miller and rocker Chris Cornell.

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To be eligible for the 2019 Grammys, artists’ material must have been released between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018.

And this year, the Academy is switching things up when it comes to “the big four” categories. Rather than nominating five artists or bodies of work as in years past, there will be eight nominees in the categories of best new artist, song of the year, record of the year and album of the year.

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