Category: Alicia Keys

Lil Mama crashes MTV VMA awards finale (and no one seems to care)

LilM While the pop culture universe all but imploded in the wake of Kanye West stage-crashing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female video last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, there has been relatively little chatter in regards to the evening’s other bold stage-crasher, rapper and judge on “America’s Best Dance Crew,” Lil Mama.

Toward the end of a rousing show-closing performance of “Empire State of Mind,” Lil Mama jumped onto the stage, much to the visible chagrin of Jay-Z. While Jay-Z turned his back on her and embraced Alicia Keys during the ovation at the end of the song, Lil Mama stood her ground next to the multi-platinum performers.

“You gonna T-Pain me?” is what Jay-Z reportedly said to the stage-crashing rapper, in reference to rapper and producer T-Pain crashing Jay-Z's stage when he debuted the song “D.O.A.” at a New York radio concert this summer.

“I did not mean any disrespect towards Jay-Z or Alicia Keys. I admire them and look up to them as role models,” Lil Mama told MTV News after the incident. “ 'Empire State of Mind’ had my emotions running high. In that moment, I came onstage to celebrate my two icons singing about N.Y.”

But given the much higher emotions surrounding West and Swift, Lil Mama’s unscripted appearance will go down as just another bizarre curiosity during an evening filled with them. Our own “Envelope” column even credited her as just an “audience member who managed to grab her 15 minutes of fame during the last moments of the two’s performance.”

UPDATE: During an interview with Kathy Lee Gifford and and Hoda Kotb on the Sept. 16 broadcast of the "Today" show, Alicia Keys was quoted as saying "We can appreciate her being overwhelmed and inspired, but we would have appreciated it if she would have did it from her seat."

-- Scott T. Sterling

Photo: From left, Lil Mama, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday in New York City. Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images.


ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Awards: Ne-Yo, Alicia Keys, Berry Gordy and more pay tribute to Michael Jackson


It was a night meant to honor the top songwriters and publishers of 2008 -- and it did. Winners shuffled to the stage Friday at ASCAP’s 22nd annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, posing for photos as they clutched onto their trophy. But it was also the night after Michael Jackson’s death, and the ASCAP ceremony took on the feel of a tribute, with Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, Berry Gordy and more paying their respects to the fallen pop icon.

The event began with a moment of silence in honor of the King of Pop. A short montage immediately followed, highlighting the gloved one’s illustrious career -- from his days crooning hits such as “I’ll Be There” as part of the Jackson 5 to the night he exposed the world to his slick -- and often imitated, but never duplicated -- Moonwalk. The brief tribute was capped with a performance of Jackson’s ballad “Lady in My Life” by R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, who ended the song with “We love you, Michael.”

But the Jackson appreciation didn’t end there. Artists such as gospel singer James Fortune and the GS Boys dedicated their performances to the pop tour de force, and other’s took time to expand on Jackson’s legacy. When she accepted ASCAP’s golden note award, 12-time Grammy Award winner Keys thanked Michael for his adventurous spirit.

Said Keys, “This man really broke all of the rules. He broke all the rules.There were no rules with him. Nobody could tell him what he could and could not do. How long his videos could or could not be.Or how the song structure should be.Or how many records he could or couldn’t sell. 

"He went and did from his heart as a genuine and good, blessed artist," Keys continued. "He broke all the rules and all the records. I think he is someone that obviously inspired us all to hopefully break the rules because we have to break the rules to break the records."

Before presenting the songwriter of the year award, record producer Timbaland sounded somber as he addressed the crowd:  “I’ve kind of been down for the last day. You know, I had an opportunity to work with Michael coming up, before the tour, and it’s been wild. The same thing happened to me when I was supposed to work with Biggie Smalls before he passed. It’s kind of a sad day … but a good day because his music lives on.”

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