Empire State of Mind: Alicia Keys and Jay-Z to Light Up 77th Tony Awards

Alicia Keys and Jay-Z are scheduled to perform their iconic song 'Empire State of Mind' during the 77th Tony Awards, airing live on CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday, June 16.

AceShowbiz - The 77th Annual Tony Awards promises a night to remember as Alicia Keys and Jay-Z are expected to reunite to perform their iconic hit "Empire State of Mind." The dynamic duo will take the stage at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, a fitting venue for their performance celebrating the spirit of the Big Apple.

This year's Tony Awards, airing live on CBS from 8:00-11:00 PM ET/5:00-8:00 PM PT and streaming on Paramount+, marks a milestone for the prestigious event. For the first time ever, it's being held at the David H. Koch Theater. The inclusion of "Empire State of Mind" is particularly significant, as the song is featured in "Hell's Kitchen," a musical inspired by Keys' own life story. "Hell's Kitchen" is tied with "Stereophonic" for the most Tony nominations this year, both boasting an impressive 13 nods.

"Empire State of Mind" debuted in 2009 on Jay-Z's album "The Blueprint 3" and quickly became a cultural anthem, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song won two Grammy Awards in 2010, for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and was also nominated for Record of the Year.

Over the years, Jay-Z and Keys have performed this track at numerous high-profile venues, including Radio City Music Hall, Yankee Stadium, and Madison Square Garden, as well as international stages like the MTV Europe Music Awards in Berlin and the BRIT Awards in London.

"Hell's Kitchen" tells the compelling story of Ali, a 17-year-old girl navigating the challenges of growing up in New York City. Under the mentorship of a neighbor, she discovers the transformative power of the piano. Set against the backdrop of the 1990s, this musical explores themes of self-discovery, purpose, and community. Alicia Keys, a 16-time Grammy Award winner, draws from her own experiences to bring authenticity and depth to the production.

In addition to the much-anticipated performance by Keys and Jay-Z, the Tony Awards will feature acts from other nominated musicals such as "Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club," "Illinoise," "Merrily We Roll Along," "Suffs," "The Outsiders," "The Who's Tommy," "Water for Elephants," and "Stereophonic." This year marks a notable shift, highlighting the contributions of women directors, with seven nominations across the categories of Best Play Direction and Best Musical Direction.

Hosted by Ariana DeBose for the third consecutive year, the Tony Awards promises an evening filled with celebration of theatrical excellence. DeBose, who also choreographed the show's opening number, continues to bring energy and passion to the event. With a lineup that honors the best in Broadway and contributions from industry legends like Keys and Jay-Z, the 77th Tony Awards is set to captivate audiences worldwide.

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