iHeartRadio Music Awards: Alicia Keys Receives Innovator Honor

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Alicia Keys

"In the end, you're remembered because you're different," said Keys at the podium upon accepting the award.

During the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Thursday night at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater, Alicia Keys accepted the Innovator award from Jamie Foxx. 

Prior to presenting the honor, Foxx spoke about the singer-songwriter, applauding her for music accomplishments: “Being an innovator isn’t about what you do, it’s about who you are, and Alicia Keys is everything.”

"This girl is on fire, the iHeart Innovator!" said Foxx as Keys approached the podium. “You are incredible at what you do. I’ve watched you grow. … You continue to test the bar so high, it’s going to be tough for anybody to catch it."

After engaging in a celebratory dance, Keys addressed the audience. "Thank you so much, what a powerful beautiful energy in here tonight, so many amazing artists are here." She continued, "I want to thank you so much, Jamie Foxx, thank you to iHeartRadio, it means so much to be honored as an innovator."

Throughout her speech, Keys reflected on her humble beginnings and how nobody called her an innovator back then. Despite achieving her success on her own, she credited other musicians such as Post Malone, Sade and SZA for giving her inspiration because they break the mold. 

"I looked inside my heart and realized I am here to do me and we are here to do us," said Keys, adding, "Sometimes it’s crazy, I know how it feels. All we can think about is how to be liked and how to be accepted. ... Instead, all we have to do is love who we are, appreciate our individuality and embrace what makes us unique."

Concluded Keys, "In the end, you're remembered because you're different." Later in the show, Keys performed "Raise a Man" with her son Egypt accompanying her on piano. She announced him to be "the man I get to raise."