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R&B star Alicia Keys to host 2019 Grammy Awards



American singer and songwriter Alicia Keys will host the Grammy Awards next month , she announced Tuesday , one year after the gala came under fire over diversity concerns .
Keys — herself a 15 -time Grammy winner — will be the emcee for music ’ s biggest night , which this year features a diverse slate of women and hip hop artists as leading contenders .

“ I know what it feels like to be on that stage , and I know what it feels like to be proud of the work that you ’ ve put in and to be recognized for it , ” Keys said in a video posted on social media .

“ I feel like it ’ s the perfect opportunity for me to give the light back and lift people up — especially all the young women that are nominated, ” she added .

“ To me , it feels like sister vibes . ”

Keys replaces James Corden , the British-late night comedian who has hosted the awards the past two years .

Since releasing her blockbuster album “ Songs in A Minor ” in 2001 , classically trained pianist Keys has sold more than 30 million records and become a successful film , television and Broadway producer .

Her appointment as Grammy host comes after the Recording Academy — which organizes the event — faced backlash that the show is consistently too male and too white .

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Academy head Neil Portnow said in May he would step aside when his contract expires later this year after he triggered outrage after saying women artists should “ step up . ”

“ A dynamic artist with the rare combination of groundbreaking talent and passion for her craft , Alicia Keys is the perfect choice as host for our show , ” Portnow said in a statement.

Rap superstar Kendrick Lamar is leading the Grammy pack with eight nominations , propelled mostly by his work on the “ Black Panther ” soundtrack .

Women performers also boast a heavy presence in top categories after being largely snubbed a year ago .

Rapper Cardi B , pop diva Lady Gaga and folk- rock singer Brandi Carlile all nabbed key nominations for the show , which will take place on February 10 in Los Angeles .

( AFP )