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The Grammys have found this year’s host.
Alicia Keys will be hosting the 2019 awards show. The singer made the announcement with a behind-the-scenes video posted to her social media channels Tuesday.
“IT’S OFFICIAL! 15-time GRAMMY winner @AliciaKeys will host the 61st #GRAMMYs, marking her first time as master of ceremonies for Music’s Biggest Night,” announced the official Grammys Twitter account.
Keys revealed the news in a YouTube video, in which she is seen telling her family, friends and staff about the gig. After posing for promo shots for the upcoming awards show, Keys explains why being asked to host the Grammys feels particularly impactful in 2019.
“I know what it feels like to be on that stage and I know what it feels like to be proud of the work that you’ve put in and to be recognized for it. And I just feel grateful that I’m able to bring that light and that energy,” the 15-time Grammy winner says in the video.
“This is a first. It’s a first and it’s amazing and I think it’s perfect timing. Honestly, I’m really excited. I feel really good about it because I feel like it’s the perfect opportunity for me to give the light back and lift people up, especially all the young women that are nominated,” she continues, calling out the high number of female nominees this year. “Like, to me, it feels like sister vibes.”
Keys is seemingly referencing the Recording Academy’s newly adopted tone after the organization faced criticism last year for its lack of diverse Grammy nominees — particularly its strikingly uneven male-to-female ratio in major categories such as record of the year and artist of the year. More controversy ensued when Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said that women artists need to “step up” when asked about the gender disparity.
Portnow, who will step down this summer once his contract with the Recording Academy expires, said in a statement: “A dynamic artist with the rare combination of groundbreaking talent and passion for her craft, Alicia Keys is the perfect choice as host for our show. Throughout her exciting career, I have watched her become a powerful force within the music industry and beyond. As an artist who speaks to the power of music, we are thrilled to have her on board for what’s sure to be an unforgettable Grammy Awards.”
This year, women fared much better with nods in top categories. Cardi B (Invasion of Privacy), Brandi Carlile (By the Way, I Forgive You), H.E.R. (H.E.R.), Janelle Monae (Dirty Computer) and Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour) are all nominated for album of the year. (Lorde was the only female nominated last year and wasn’t invited to perform.)
As for what she has planned as host, Keys had this to offer in her official statement Tuesday: “I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy. I’m especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year! It’s going ‘UP’ on February 10!”
The Grammy Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for the Recording Academy; Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Ben Winston is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers.
The 2019 Grammys are set to air live Feb. 10 on CBS from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Watch Keys announce her hosting gig in the video below.
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