Alicia Keys has promised to bring the feel-good factor back to the Grammy Awards by celebrating women as host.
The Fallin’ hitmaker will become the first woman to host the U.S. music prizegiving since Queen Latifah in 2005 when she takes to the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
According to Billboard.com, at a Grammys preview event on Thursday the star promised her compere stint would be about the “power of music” and added: “We’re all very excited, and the energy you’re going to feel is far different than anything you’ve ever felt.”
The awards bash struck a sour note last year when only one woman, Best New Artist Alessia Cara, won in a major category. For this year’s 61st edition though, five of the eight acts nominated for the prestigious Album of the Year category are women – with Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, H.E.R., Janelle Monae, and Kacey Musgraves all receiving nods.
The 15-time Grammy winner revealed she’s looking forward to the prospect of more female acts following in her footsteps this year, adding: “Celebrating so many amazing nominees, particularly women nominees … is so incredibly magnificent and so many are my friends.”
Speaking about how her hosting stint would stand out, the star said she hoped to promote peace, in contrast to the politically charged ceremonies of recent years.
“There’s a sense of community that I want to bring to the stage,” she explained. “So many times you come to these things as an artist and you’re juggling so many things and there’s so much pressure on you. I would love to ensure the peace and the good energy in the room so that our shoulders can all drop and we can feel the true blessing of having music as a universal language.”
Lady Gaga, SZA, and Ella Mai are among the other female acts to have bagged major nominations in categories like song or record of the year – while there will be performances from the likes of Gaga, St. Vincent, Cardi, Brandi, and Dua Lipa. However, rapper Kendrick Lamar, with eight nominations, still goes into the night as the artist with the most nods.