Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.01.2022

Even if you have never stepped foot in New York, there is no way you have not heard the city’s unofficial anthem, “Empire State of Mind.”

The track appeared on JAY-Z’s album The Blueprint 3 and features fellow New Yorker Alicia Keys’ vocals on the chorus, and her literal piano keys throughout the track. The 2009 hit earned JAY his first No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the duo won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song.

Individually, the talented artists have gone on to achieve even more career milestones, but fans have yet to hear them collaborate again. Keys told E! News that there is a reason she and HOV have not recorded a song together in over a decade.

“It’s so funny ‘cause we talk about that a lot because there’s so many songs that come up, and it’s like, ‘Oh, JAY would be crazy on this,’ and ‘Oh, AK would be crazy on this,’” she said in a Nov. 30 interview. The songstress said she and the mogul rapper are both uncertain that they can recapture the magic of their timeless hit.

“We’re like, ‘But will it ever be like ‘Empire State of Mind’? So, I wonder if it kind of, you know, hinders us in some kind of way; it’s almost like there’s no topping it… Definitely we are not limited, and I’d love to do another collaboration with my brother,” Keys added.

The record’s success is also marked by an unforgettable performance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. JAY and the singer were performing when Lil Mama felt moved to jump on stage. Last year, Keys spoke about the incident when she appeared on “Drink Champs.” She revealed that while millions of viewers and JAY were shocked to see Lil Mama on stage, she was completely unaware of the occurrence when it unfolded.

She recalled, “I went backstage and JAY was like, ‘So, you ain’t see that?’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And he was like, ‘Nah, you ain’t just see what just happened?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, we killed it. That’s what happened.'”

Alicia Keys’ interview with E! News is posted below.

 

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