Alicia Keys Says Watching Son Egypt Perform Made Her Emotional: 'Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks'

Alicia Keys has been relishing time at home with sons Egypt, 11, and Genesis, 6, whom she shares with husband Swizz Beatz

Alicia Keys' 11-year-old son Egypt is a star in the making — and sometimes, realizing just how fast he's growing up is enough to bring the singer to tears.

Keys, 40, opened up to People (The TV Show!)'s Kay Adams in this week's issue about the many mixed emotions she feels watching her son mature, and how some moments hit harder than others.

In a sweet moment that aired on her YouTube Originals docuseries Noted: Alicia Keys The Untold Story, she and Egypt, whom she shares with husband Swizz Beatz, watch a clip from the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards, during which Egypt accompanied Keys on piano as she sang "Raise a Man."

As the pair watched the video, the "Girl on Fire" singer grew teary-eyed.

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iHeartRadio Music Awards, Show, Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Mar 2019
Egypt with mom Alicia Keys. Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

"I'm not the crying type, I'm really not," she told Adams. "[But] you get so sensitive just [thinking] about how life goes on, and seeing him next to me and remembering that moment. That moment was the first time that he performed with me on stage, and I remember being completely so wrapped up in him being okay because I asked him to do it."

Keys explained that her son initially demurred at the request, asking, "Do I have to?" But eventually, he agreed, sending Keys' nerves through the roof.

"I was so nervous for him that I remember at midnight the night before the show, I realized I hadn't even practiced," she said. "I remember all of this and I'm sitting there watching it with him and just…how I feel about him and seeing his growth and watching him go on stage and just completely own — it just hit me like a ton of bricks."

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Alicia Keys and her son Egypt Daoud Dean perform onstage at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards
Alicia Keys and her son Egypt. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The former Voice coach said she's unsure whether Egypt will pursue a career in music like his parents, but that he'll have their full support if he does.

"He's definitely a natural," she said. "He's been a natural since he was a baby, and he loves it, and I'm glad that he loves it. … He's a lot like me. He's the life of the party, he's the one that kind of brings everyone together. He looks out for everyone, he's that guy. And I love that about him."

In addition to Egypt, Keys and Swizz Beatz (real name: Kasseem Daoud Dean) are also parents to 6-year-old Genesis, and the singer said that she's been relishing her time spent at home with her sons.

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and family
Alicia Keys, Genesis, Swizz Beatz and Egypt. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"I love being right square in the middle. Nobody else should be doing it aside from their dad and me," she said. "This is our job and we love it. I have to be there."

She and Swizz, 43, recently celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary — and through it all, are still "best friends."

"We really have a really, really special connection. It's a real thing," she said. "I think what makes us connect so well is that we've both been in the business for so long. We both have a similar level of responsibilities that we've understood since we were 16, 17 years old. That's a certain lifestyle that we understand."

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