Alicia brought out special guests throughout the night including John Mayer for a mash up of “If I Ain’t Got You” and his song “Gravity” with Questlove playing drums. Nas took the stage for a duet of “One Love” and “She Don’t Really Care” and Q-Tip duetted with Alicia on “You Don’t Know My Name.” For one of the last songs of the night, Jay-Z surprised the crowd when he joined Alicia for an epic performance of “Empire State of Mind.”
Set outdoors under the bright lights of the iconic Times Square, this historic concert experience with Harlem’s Alicia keys was free for fans and a never been done before evening in honor of her forthcoming album. Performing to a packed crowd of thousands, the 15-time Grammy Award-winner brought the city to its feet with such songs as “If I Ain’t Got You'”, “No One,” “Fallin’,” “You Don’t Know My Name,” “In Common,” and new songs from her upcoming album including “Holy War,” “She Don’t Really Care,” and her new single “Blended Family” (What You Do For Love)” featuring A$AP Rocky.
For the encore, Alicia celebrated the music and activism of John Lennon in honor of his birthday. Times Square was illuminated with social justice messages in the style of Lennon’s iconic “War Is Over!” visual across the giant digital billboards. While Alicia played piano surrounded by the glowing signs, she highlighted a variety of important global issues — many of which are reflected on her album HERE. Some of the messages included, “Racism is Over!,” “Climate Change Is Reversed!,” “Transgender is Accepted Worldwide!”, “U.S. Bans Assault Rifles,” “Peace in the Middle East,” “Syria Is Free And Rebuilt,” “Homophobia is Over!” while Keys performed her moving song “Holy War” from her forthcoming album. She then finished the night with a performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the screens all read “War Is Over! If You Want It.”
This performance will air as a concert special on BET on November 3rd, 2016, the eve of her album release.