Alicia Keys and Jay-Z Surprise Tony Awards 2024 with Performance of ‘Empire State of Mind’

The NY-bred duo last performed the single in 2016.

The spirit of New York City came alive at the 2024 Tony Awards as Alicia Keys and Jay-Z delivered an outstanding performance of their Grammy Award-winning hit "Empire State of Mind." The event, hosted by Ariana DeBose, took place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Sunday.

“We at the Tony Awards tonight,” Keys announced while descending a set of stairs at the legendary building. “Had to do something crazy. The singer sported a black top with an oversized Gucci coat, pants, and gold jewelry. “It’s my hometown,” she continued as she walked through the audience, with dancers from the musical Hell’s Kitchen performing on stage. 

RELATED: Alicia Keys' ‘Hell's Kitchen’ Scores 13 Tony Nominations

Jay-Z, wearing a Louis Vuitton jacket, white top, and jeans, appeared on a large screen backdrop, rapping from the lobby outside the venue. Later, Keys joined him, and the two performed the song together.

“Empire State of Mind” appeared on Jay-Z’s 2009 studio album, The Blueprint 3. The duo last performed the track in Times Square in October 2016 during Keys' Here in Times Square concert special.

The record is also featured in the singer’s co-created semi-autobiographical musical, Hell’s Kitchen, which led this year’s ceremony with 13 nominations.

Although the jukebox musical did not win the Best Musical award, its star, Maleah Joi Moon, secured her first Tony Award by winning Best Lead Actress in a Musical. While Kecia Lewis took home the win for “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.”

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