Alicia Keys Delivers Touching Tribute To New York City With VMA Performance

By Hayden Brooks

September 13, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards saw the network pay tribute to the city of New York and one of the many folks they recruited to help do the honors is Alicia Keys.

During the ceremony, which was hosted by Doja Cat, Keys took to the award show to perform her new song, "Lala," alongside Swae Lee from New York's Liberty State Park, for the first time since dropping the track last week. The pair offered the remote audience with smooth R&B vibes, before Lee exited the stage and Keys took to her piano for a solo rendition of "Empire State of Mind," her 2009 collaboration with JAY-Z. The performance was meant to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the tragic September 11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center.

Keys previously performed the song with the rapper at the 2010 VMAs. The video also took home the Best Cinematography honor that same year. The singer has a total of three Moonperson wins to her name, with a total of 12 nominations since her debut in 2001.

Alicia Keys
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