Alicia Keys Debuts Her "New Side" With Fiery 2020 Billboard Music Awards Performance
Alicia Keys took the stage of the Billboard Music Awards one month after she dropped her seventh album, Alicia, to deliver a soulful song and a bedazzling new look.
Meet the new Alicia Keys. There may not be a traditional red carpet this year, but Keys made the most of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards by revealing a "new side" of herself.
Before taking the stage to perform, Keys showed off her glitzy bodysuit and new bangs on Instagram. She wrote, "New side of Alicia to introduce you to. Nice to meet you." Hellooo queen!
The 15-time Grammy winner went on to wow viewers by singing her new song, "Love Looks Better," on Wednesday, Oct. 14, after she dropped her seventh album, Alicia, one month prior.
Keys performed in the sparkling white outfit, which shone against the red tint of the stage. Two backup dancers wore masks beside her, and eventually Keys moved to a bright red piano to play and sing, "You're all I ever wanted."
She ended the fiery concert by flexing her DJ skills and finished in a power pose.
Why the fierce new look? Keys explained, "This performance for Billboard keeps talking about where we're growing to. Who you were in the past, who you are now, where you're going." She continued on Instagram, "That's what I'm expressing right now and I love it. … I'm this version of Alicia today."
Her album Alicia dropped Sept. 18 and features the tracks "If I Ain't Got You," "So Done," "Perfect Way to Die" and "Underdog." She said that the songs are "all about accepting, loving and getting to know all the sides of you. Meet my Goddess energy."
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Ahead of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, Keys appeared on host Kelly Clarkson's talk show to discuss how "devastated" she is about Breonna Taylor's death and explained how police brutality ties into her song "Perfect Way to Die."
"The grief I can't even imagine," she said on Wednesday's edition of The Kelly Clarkson Show. "I do feel disappointed that more justice wasn't due for Breonna."
The mother of two also honored the Black Lives Matter movement during her poignant concert at the 2020 BET Awards in June, when she sang "Perfect Way To Die," which is about a mother's unspeakable loss after her son is "gunned down."
No stranger to award shows, the music veteran hosted the Grammy Awards earlier this year, the same day that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Keys eloquently opened the show with a special tribute: "The whole wide world lost a hero. And we're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built," the 39-year-old said.
After the Grammys ceremony, the "Girl on Fire" singer called up Billie Eilish to offer advice to the 18-year-old, who swept all the Big Four categories.
"She wanted to congratulate me and she basically said on the phone which is something I hold so dear to me," Eilish revealed. "Because you know she won a billion Grammys when she was really young. And she called me and was like, 'I just wanted to say, don't be embarrassed for being dope.'"
In addition to Keys, Demi Lovato, Post Malone and Bad Bunny top off the starry roster of performers at Wednesday's Billboard Music Awards. Watch the big night on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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