The biggest night in the music industry just got a little bit brighter.
Fifteen time Grammy award winner and international superstar, Alicia Keys, announced Tuesday that she will be hosting the 61st annual Grammy awards. She said, "There's so much in store and I CAN'T WAIT for y'all to see it ALL come to life. Tune in on February 10th at 5PM PST / 8PM EST. Only on CBS!"
The awards will take place on Feb. 10 at Los Angeles' Staples Center and will air live on CBS from 8-11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
I'M HOSTING THE 2019 GRAMMYS (ALICIA KEYS) youtu.be
In the video, you see Keys receive a phone call informing her she'll be hosting the event and then run to tell her husband (Swizz Beatz) and children, who adorably struggle to match the star's level of excitement.
In the official Grammy announcement Keys said, "I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I'm going to bring that vibe and energy, I'm so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and, magic. I'm especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year! It's going 'UP' on February 10!"
The recording academy also expressed their excitement at Keys accepting the position. "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," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "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."
The Executive Producer of the ceremony, Ken Ehrlich, also weighed in, saying,"Alicia is one of those rare artists who meld true musical genius with heartfelt emotional lyrics to create a unique approach to everything she does. We have no doubt that she'll bring all of that as she guides millions of Grammy viewers through what we believe will be a very special show in February."
Hopefully, the Grammy's selecting Alicia Keys as host is an indication of their intent to aim to be more inclusive of female artists, as Keys has long been an outspoken voice for gender equality in the music industry. In 2018, when Grammys president Neil Portnow controversially responded to a question about gender disparity in the music industry by saying, "It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome." Keys, and many others, were not pleased. Many argued that putting the volition on women to fight sexism is irresponsible, and particularly so when — as the president of the Grammys — you have the power to create change. Keys referenced the comment at a Power of Women lunch with Variety magazine, saying, "We were told we need to step up. Well, you feel that step up now?"
Luckily, this year's Grammys has seen a major increase in number of female nominees, with 15 women nominated in major categories, compared to a mere 6 in 2018. Hopefully, Alicia Keys' role as host and the increase in female nominees will mean a more inclusive 2019 Grammys.
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