Alicia Keys' Grammys Tribute Goes from Somber to Sweet: 'We Gotta Make This a Celebration' for Kobe Bryant
The singer and host of the 2020 Grammy Awards gave a tribute to Bryant, who tragically died, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash earlier on Sunday, for a second time at the beginning of the show.
Addressing the sober feelings of the Grammys audience, Keys, 39, said that they needed to celebrate for the late basketball legend.
“I’m looking forward to being here together with all of us, again celebrating this music because I know how much Kobe loved music,” she said. “I know how much he loved music, so we gotta make this a celebration in his honor. He would want us to keep the vibrations high.”
Keys, playing the piano, then dove into a lighthearted song about the nominees in the room, a riff on Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved.”
“Rosalia’s hot, Beyonce took us all on safari. Hey B, thank you for that orange box, that was really fire. We obsess about BTS, H.E.R. and Lewis Capaldi. Hey Lewis, is it cool that I’m using your song right now? Is that alright? I’m just kidding, thought so. Jonas Brothers returned, Billie and Finneas, Camila likes Shawn to call her ‘Senorita,’ Ariana went next, Tyler brought us EGOR, Lil Nas road that road till he couldn’t no more. It’s the Grammys, gonna have a ball, and here’s Alicia Keys, to get you through it all. If you like country, or you prefer Young Thug, I’mma get you kind of used to hearing music you love.”
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The “Calma” singer also got political.
“In spite of all the news that we’re seeing … it’s like so crazy,” she continued, in song. “Commander in Chief impeached, y’all get out, let’s bring Cardi B. Cardi, can you please show these people what to do? ‘Cause music changes the world, just like Beethoven said, old dude in a wig, but I still give him some cred. It’s just too many lies, too much hate, too much spin. It’s when good people do nothing that the bad guys win. But it’s the Grammys, we gon’ have a ball, I’m Alicia Keys, to get you through it all, if you like KPop, or rock and roll’s your drug, I’mma get you kinda used to hearing music you love. At the Grammys, 10,000 hours long, so keep the speeches short, and go for one more song. To all my overkills, and all my underdogs, I’mma get you kinda used to knowing music is love.”
Keys is hosting the Grammy Awards for the second time, after making her hosting debut last year.
The 62nd Grammy Awards are airing live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.