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Jay-Z, Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ Tony Awards 2024 Performance

Jay-Z, Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ Tony Awards 2024 Performance

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed their hit “Empire State of Mind” at the 2024 Tony Awards as part of a colorful and energetic number showcasing Keys’ best musical contender, Hell’s Kitchen. 

Keys was wheeled out on stage playing piano and kicked off singing the song, before trading verses with Maleah Joi Moon, a Tony nominee who stars in the musical loosely based on Keys’ life growing up in New York. Keys raised a first in the air and got the crowd on its feet singing before throwing it over to Jay-Z. 

“Had to do something crazy, it’s my home town,” Keys yelled. 

Jay-Z then appeared on a video screen, shown standing on a set of stairs and rapping his lyrics from the song, before Keys joined him. The two have performed the song together multiple times since it was first released in 2009.

“Empire State of Mind” came at the end of a medley that also highlighted numbers from the show sung by Tony nominees Kecia Lewis and by Shoshana Bean and Brandon Victor-Dixon, who sang Keys’ “Fallin.” The 2024 Tony Awards is taking place at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York.

Hell’s Kitchen was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, including best musical, tying with the play Stereophonic for the most number of nominations. Keys is a producer on the musical and provided the score, made up of pre-existing hits as well as new songs. 

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She also worked closely with book writer Kristoffer Diaz, director Michael Greif and choreographer Camille A. Brown on shaping the show as well as with the actors in the show. 

“I know what it’s supposed to feel like. I know what it’s supposed to sound like. I know what it’s supposed to look like. I know how the people are supposed to react. I know this piece. I know it intimately. And so that’s why it’s so important that it rings true,” Keys told The Hollywood Reporter in April.

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