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We haven’t heard from Alicia Keys in a while, but she was electric in her return to the big stage as more than 60,000 people packed Central Park this weekend for the Global Citizen Festival, an annual event that mixes musical performances with activism aimed at ending poverty throughout the world by 2030.
Artists such as Queen, Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Pharell Williams, and OneRepublic took the stage during the five-hour festival, which comes on the heels of the Global Climate Strike led by teen activist Greta Thunberg and the U.N. Climate Summit at the United Nations in New York.
The Global Citizen initiative will culminate next year with Global Go Live: The Possible Dream, a 10-hour concert to be held in September 2020 on five continents. The show will be broadcast live from New York City, Lagos, Nigeria, and other cities in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The festival will call on governments and businesses to raise millions of dollars to prevent plastic pollution, empower women, fight infectious diseases, and provide quality education to future leaders.
Keys has been on the low as far as her music career goes. She and her husband, Swizz Beatz, have two sons together: Egypt Daoud, 8, and Genesis Ali, 4, and she also co-parents Swizz Beatz’s kids from his previous marriage, Prince, 18 years old, Kasseem Jr., 12 years old, and Nicole, 10 years old.
It served as a perfect forum to test some new material that will be released on her long-awaited album. As Keys steps back into the public eye, she graces the cover of Harper’s Bazaar‘s September 2019 issue, which hit newsstands on August 20.
Alicia Keys says that having kids was like 'finding my North Star' as she covers Harpers Bazaar: The 38-year-old singer songwriter made the revelation to Harpers Bazaar as she covered their September issue, on Thursday https://t.co/PlGyhG6nsO pic.twitter.com/idkHTkUe2i
— RushReads (@RushReads) August 1, 2019
Keys spoke about what fans can expect from her new album.
“It reflects where I am today—the deeper acceptance I have of who I am as a full human being, the flaws, the pieces that I used to push aside because I wasn’t ready to embrace the anger or the fear or the crazy.”
And how her material has elevated past the female-empowering anthems that fueled her early success.
“A majority of those songs—‘A Woman’s Worth,’ ‘Superwoman,’ and ‘Girl on Fire’—were written when I was not feeling worthy. They were always songs that I needed to hear because I was going through a time when I was feeling down and needed to be reminded that this is who I am and this is what I deserve”
Also, how motherhood has drastically changed her perspective on life.
“Motherhood gave me a stronger sense of clarity. I used to be less aware of how I wanted to spend my time and more influenced by other people. After I had my kids, I felt like I had found my North Star. I was less wasteful; I worked more effectively.”
Recently, Keys and Swizz purchased a beautiful mansion in San Diego that spans 10,653 square feet and includes a home theater, library, gym, and even an all-glass elevator. The home’s walls are made of glass. Keys and Beatz also still own their 25,000 sq. ft. megamansion in Englewood, New Jersey, which they purchased for $12.1 million in 2013 from Eddie Murphy.
The songstress has certainly had her hands full, but during this weekend’s concert, she introduced some new music to the fans in attendance.
Back in February, Keys dropped a new song called “Raise a Man” after hosting the Grammys. The 38-year-old singer surprised the audience as she hadn’t dropped any new tunes since 2016, when she released her sixth studio album “Here.”
Keys’ return to the stage was vintage. She crooned and played the piano, covered many of her most popular hits and engaged the crowd, leaving everyone anticipating her next project.