Others only desire to see Alicia Keys perform “If I Ain’t Got You” with a large orchestra.
On Monday, the Grammy winner shared a new performance of the 2003 hit with an orchestra of over 70 women of color from around the globe for Netflix and Shondaland’s Queen Charlotte: The Bridgerton Story.
The new clip, directed by Diane Martel (who also directed the song’s original music video), features Alicia Keys, 42, along with musicians including South Africa’s first Black female conductor Ofentse Pitse, the Netherlands’ RIMON, France’s Amel Bent, Germany’s Alicia Awa, Sweden’s Cherrie, and Norway’s Delara.
“The entire concept was quite ambitious,” Keys told Billboard of the video, which commemorates the release of Queen Charlotte and the 20th anniversary of her 2003 album The Diary of Alicia Keys. “I believe that it will help many people comprehend that women of color belong everywhere and have always been everywhere. It’s a miracle.”
In the video, Keys performs the powerful ballad while playing the piano and matching the other performers’ 17th-century attire. “I know they’re going to be extremely emotional when they see it, because the women who were there were extremely emotional,” she told the outlet, noting that conductor Ofentse Pitse believed the diverse orchestra was essential. This is something that our ancestors never encountered.
The performer of “No One” also discussed the significance of empowering women, noting that her mother taught her to advocate for gender equality and “is definitely a feminist for sure.”
“She raised me, and that desire for equanimity and fairness was really instilled in me,” said Keys. “Then I would hear it in my songs.” “I would see it on ‘A Woman’s Worth’ or ‘Superwoman’ or ‘Girl on Fire,’ and I know that the majority of those songs and emotions stem from a need for a boost, for extra energy. These songs were, in many respects, what I desired and hoped to feel.”
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix on May 4 as the first Bridgerton spin-off series. In six episodes, the prequel tells the tale of young Queen Charlotte’s life, ascent to power, and romance with King George.
The soundtrack of the series will feature additional orchestral renditions of songs by Beyoncé, SZA, and Whitney Houston, among others.
In an interview with PEOPLE about her new collection with Athleta, Keys remarked that she is “grateful” that “If I Ain’t Got You” continues to affect listeners “in such a powerful way” twenty years after its release.
Until May 19, Keys is presently performing the last dates of her Alicia + Keys Tour in Latin America. On June 28, she will launch her Keys to the Summer Tour in Sunrise, Florida.
“The KEYS TO THE SUMMER TOUR will be absolutely unforgettable and cannot be missed! She described the tour as a “celebration of freedom and self-liberation” in a press release for Live Nation.
She continued, “It will be vibrant, enchanted, and will illuminate your body, spirit, and all of your senses! This is my first attempt at creating a 360-degree experience, and we’ve made it, unlike anything you’ve ever seen! I cannot wait to see you all this summer!”