Alicia Keys Kicks Off the Grammys With Her Version of 'Someone You Loved'

"It's when good people do nothing that the bad guys win..."

Alicia Keys performing at the 2020 Grammy awards.
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Alicia Keys chose to open the Grammys with a moving, acoustic version of Lewis Capaldi's heartbreaking ballad "Someone You Loved," paying tribute in her Grammys introduction not only to Kobe Bryant, who had passed away hours earlier, but to the biggest names in music. "Music is that one language we can all speak," she explained before she began singing. "No matter where we're from. We all understand it."

Sang Keys: "Rosalía's hot, Beyoncé took us all on safari/We obsessed by BTS, HER, and Lewis Capaldi—" Keys broke from the song here to ask Capaldi if he was okay with her covering his hit song, to which he gave her an emphatic thumbs-up— "Jonas Brothers return/Billie and Phineas/Camila like Shawn, they call her señorita/Ariana went next/Tyler brought us "Igor"/Lil Nas rode that road 'til he couldn't no more."

Then, the chorus: "It's the Grammys/Gonna have a ball/And here's Alicia Keys/To get you through it all/If you like country/Or you prefer Young Thug/Imma getcha kinda used to hearing music you love..."

Her next verse: "Commander impeached, y'all/Get out, get Cardi B in/Cause music changes the world/Just like Beethoven said/Old dude had a wig/But I still give him some cred/It's just too many lies/Too much hate, too much spin/It's when good people do nothing that the bad guys win...But it's the Grammys/Ten thousand hours long/So keep the speeches short/And go for one more song/To all my overkills/And all my underdogs/Imma getcha kind of used to knowing music is love."

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Keys also brought Boys II Men onstage to sing an emotional rendition of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" in honor of Bryant. Several members of the audience could be seen openly weeping during the tribute.

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Keys: The hero we need in 2020.

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(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jenny Hollander
Director of Content Strategy

Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.