Alicia Keys says this year’s Grammy performances will be the “sickest” yet

Posted at 8:39 AM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 10:39:54-05

Alicia Keys – a 15-time Grammy winner and 29-time nominee – has reached another career milestone: hosting music’s biggest night. She will be the first woman in 14 years to take the stage as host of the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

Even with all of her success, she’s still humble about being counted among music’s most prestigious Grammy winners and the opportunity to host the awards show.

“I was so excited, I literally was kind of like legit screaming and yelling and spinning around. That’s how I felt, I mean, you know I still feel that way. It’s a big deal, you know, when you can hold the energy of a space and create what you – what you want people to feel in it is a really powerful thing. I think that it’s something that really creates magic so I feel like spinning around and screaming,” she told CBS News’ Vladimir Duthiers.

Keys said she’s never hosted anything before but knows this is the right time for her to take that leap.

“I know that I’m so ready for it and I understand the room and I understand what the night is,” she said.

Keys has talked about writing her first song at 11 years old. In 2002, she won song of the year for “Falling.” She said she vividly remembers both moments, putting pen to paper for her first song and her first Grammy Awards.

“It felt like a magic, like a thrill and then fast-forwarding to be here on this Grammy’s stage and receiving the awards for it. Then I felt totally insane … It definitely was overwhelming but also unbelievable, like the best dream you could have ever dreamed of,” she said.

Twenty-one-year-old R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. is up for five Grammy Awards this year including best new artist and album of the year. She told CBS News’ Gayle King that as a little girl she dreamed of one day accepting a Grammy and that Alicia Keys would be there.

“First of all, I love H.E.R. And I’ve been watching her for, you know, since she was like a little girl and I knew that she was special even then. I do hope that I am on that stage and I get to – obviously I’ll be on stage – and I do hope that she joins me,” Keys said.

Producers say this year’s show will feature unforgettable musical collaborations. Keys said she’s looking forward to all of Sunday’s big performances, including Janelle Monae and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Diana Ross is also expected to take the stage as part of a Motown tribute and will also be celebrated for her landmark career.

“I feel like this is kind of the sickest year that I’ve, you know — it just feels like the different variety of people that are performing are all exciting … some of the icons like Dolly Parton and Diana Ross. Like, first of all, Diana Ross don’t go nowhere for nobody, okay? So the fact that she’s even stepping one queenly foot onto this stage is like seriously, it’s exciting,” she said.

Some are calling the 2019 awards the year of women. The Recording Academy has expanded the number of nominees in the most competitive categories from five to eight, with powerful female voices earning the majority of nominations in some of those including record and album of the year.

“It is far overdue … to ensure that we are all making sure that diversity and inclusion is present and front and center. And particularly for women to have our seat at the table to represent the fact that we are so here and we are so incredible and we are the creators of our music. We are the writers, the executives … we are the powerhouses – we are it all! And there’s a great respect that is deserved to women and you will see that live embodied on Sunday.”

How to watch the Grammys