For Alicia Keys, hosting this year’s Grammys felt like a natural move.
The multi-platinum singer-songwriter has never had a hosting gig of this magnitude, but what she does have is a great deal of experience with the Grammys, having collected 15 trophies throughout her career as a perennial favorite of the Recording Academy and show producers.
“I’ve been blessed to have been on this stage before, multiple times, and I understand what it is and what it feels like and I know what the artists are going through,” she told reporters ahead of her debut. “I’m really excited about the naturalness of it all.”
Keys is taking over for James Corden, who hosted for two consecutive years after LL Cool J’s lengthy stint.
Creating a sense of community is her biggest agenda as host – aside from shepherding the audience through a telecast that stretches over three hours.
“So many times you come to these things as an artist and you’re juggling so many things and there’s so much pressure on you,” she said. “I would love to ensure the peace and the good energy in the room so that our shoulders can all drop and we can feel the true blessing of having music as a universal language.”
Tapping Keys to emcee was a no-brainer, according to the Grammys’ longtime executive producer Ken Ehrlich.
“She knows us and we know her. There was such a shortcut in putting this whole thing together, and it’s amazing,” he said. “It doesn’t always happen that way. Her connection with the Grammy institution is so strong and vivid. She brings such an understanding – and above that she’s a remarkable talent.”
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