Name a more iconic duo than Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys. We’ll wait.
The pair of singer-songwriters teamed up Tuesday on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” to perform an intimate duet of one of Eilish’s softer hits, “Ocean Eyes.” In preparation for her upcoming gig as Grammys host, Keys filled in for Corden, trading his usual desk for a piano.
“I mean, I didn’t bring this thing here for nothing,” the “Girl on Fire” hitmaker joked while revealing the instrument, drawing excited cheers from the studio audience as Eilish perched herself on the arm of the couch.
For the next 3½ minutes, the typically lively set hushed as the duo blended their vocals for a haunting, acoustic rendition of the track..
Keys had already expressed her love for Eilish earlier in the show while moderating a sofa chat with the “Bad Guy” artist and comedian Ali Wong. And Eilish recalled her shock when she came across Keys’ Instagram cover of “Ocean Eyes” back in August.
“It was weird because I see a lot of covers, and I see a lot of covers of that song. And I also have adored you my entire life, so I see a lot of videos of you,” the 17-year-old anti-pop phenom explained. “So it was like, one thing that’s normal and another thing that’s normal in my life combined, and that was super not normal.”
The 2020 multi-Grammy nominee also surprised Keys with a video of her own cover of one of the host’s early hits, “Fallin’,” which Eilish sang at a school talent show. And veteran Grammy winner Keys later offered some awards show wisdom to the up-and-comer, who made Grammys history last month as the youngest artist ever to score nominations in each of the top four categories.
“I just love everything that you represent,” Keys told Eilish. “I was so glad that I could take this beautiful gift that you’ve given us, these songs that you’ve given us, this permission you’ve given us to be ourselves and just have a moment.”
The two will soon meet again at the 62nd Grammy Awards, which airs live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. Pacific.