That cool Tony Awards moment when Jay-Z joined Alicia Keys? Turns out it wasn’t live

June 18, 2024 2:01 pm

[Source: AP]

Jay-Z’s electrifying reunion with Alicia Keys on what appeared to be a live duet of “Empire State of Mind” at the Tony Awards was actually pre-taped, a show official who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press.

The appearance of the rapper in support of Keys’ musical “Hell’s Kitchen” led to a boost of excitement inside the arena but it now appears it was a piece of Hollywood trickery, undercutting the Broadway communities’ full-throated embrace of live singing and dancing.

A representative from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and a producer at White Cherry Entertainment did not return messages seeking clarification on what happened Sunday night. A senior publicist for the telecast also did not return requests for comment on Monday.

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“Hell’s Kitchen,” which won two awards Sunday night — for star Maleah Joi Moon and Kecia Lewis, who plays her mentor — is loosely based on Keys’ years growing up in that Manhattan neighborhood and contains old hits and new songs from the singer-songwriter. Keys is a producer but doesn’t appear in the show. The show ends with a rousing edition of “Empire State of Mind.”

Each best new musical nominee at the Tony Awards gets a slot performing and “Hell’s Kitchen” was first, with the cast playing a medley of songs — including her hit “Fallin’” — from the show.