Watch Jay-Z & Alicia Keys Reunite for ‘Empire State of Mind’ Performance at 2024 Tony Awards

Watch Jay-Z & Alicia Keys Reunite for ‘Empire State of Mind’ Performance at 2024 Tony Awards

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys reunited for their first performance of “Empire State of Mind” since 2016, and Lil Mama was nowhere in sight. Hov and Keys took the stage for their Big Apple anthem — which turns 15 later this year — on Sunday night (June 16) in their hometown at the 2024 Tony Awards inside Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.


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Keys kicked off the performance in a Gucci jacket and matching bottoms on the piano while turning the track into a more slow-paced, soulful ballad. She was joined on stage for a duet by Hell’s Kitchen — a musical loosely based on Keys’ life — actress Maleah Joi Moon. (The musical took home two awards.)

The “No One” singer then walked into the crowd, which, by this point was standing, and teased, “I had to do something crazy — it’s my hometown.” Hov’s guest appearance drew a pop from the audience and turned the noise up a few levels. Singer-actress Nicole Scherzinger looked stunned and speechless by Jay-Z’s cameo when the camera panned to her.

Jay took it back to the early days of his Hall of Fame career with a vintage NYC outfit equipped with a Black do-rag, a leather jacket over his white tee and baggy denim jeans to go with the signature brown Timberland boots.

“Yeah, Brooklyn [and] New York City at the Tonys tonight,” Jay said to put a bow on the performance.

“Empire State of Mind” arrived in 2009 as a single leading into Jigga’s The Blueprint 3 album. The NYC anthem is inching closer to diamond status as it sits at 9x-platinum. “Empire” also topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks that year.

It’s been a busy last week for Jay-Z when it comes to his return to the stage. He also performed “Public Service Announcement (Interlude)” to open up Tom Brady’s Patriots Hall of Fame induction at Gillette Stadium days earlier on June 12.

Watch the performance below.