The BET Awards 2020 was a huge success. With performances from DaBaby, Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle and more intact, one performance that stood out was given to us on behalf of Alicia Keys. She performed her newly written piece “Perfect Way To Die” and it most certainly left many people in tears. She never misses when it comes to the music or her delivery on award shows, whether she’s hosting it or performing in it. There’s no way anyone (in their right mind) can deny her musical abilities or her contributions to not only the music industry, but humanity as well.
During the performance of this heart-bending ballad, Keys paid homage to the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black lives lost. While she was seated at a piano in the middle of a dark street, the artist shed some light on the collective sorrow and grief felt by everyone in the Black community during these tough times and continued police brutality.
While the 15-time Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter paid respects to Floyd, Taylor and Arbery, Keys also brought attention to Sandra Bland, Michael Brown and many more. After singing the gently heartbreaking ballad, Keys stepped back from the piano and took a knee in protest.
The camera pulled back to reveal the names of many lost Black lives written in chalk on the street. The performance was followed by a number of celebrities from Kendrick Lamar to Idris Elba to Spike Lee to Whoopi Goldberg reading the names of Black Americans who have died at the hands of systemic racism from Emmett Till to Malcolm X to Michael Brown to Eric Garner.
In a recent Instagram post, Keys explained to the world that she has felt “called by music like she’s never have before” and that she’s been “following its lead” that lead her to write this ballad.
Watch her emotional performance below.