Apparently Jay-Z was not live at the Tony Awards | Entertainment

Apparently Jay-Z was not live at the Tony Awards | Entertainment
Apparently Jay-Z was not live at the Tony Awards | Entertainment

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z’s electrifying reunion with Alicia Keys for what appeared to be a live duet of “Empire State of Mind” at the Tony Awards was actually prerecorded, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. the program that she was not authorized to speak publicly.

The rapper’s appearance in Keys’ musical number from “Hell’s Kitchen” sparked a surge of excitement inside the theater, but it now appears it was a Hollywood stunt, undermining the Broadway communities’ tradition of live singing and dancing.

A representative for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and a producer for White Cherry Entertainment did not respond to messages seeking clarification about what happened Sunday night. A senior publicist for the broadcast also did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

The musical “Hell’s Kitchen,” which won two awards Sunday night, for star Maleah Joi Moon and Kecia Lewis, who plays her mentor, is loosely based on Keys’s younger years in that Manhattan neighborhood and contains old hits and new songs from the singer and songwriter. Keys is a producer, but does not act in the play. The musical ends with a stirring version of “Empire State of Mind.”

Each nominee for best new musical at the Tony Awards gets a spot to perform, and “Hell’s Kitchen” was the first, its cast performing a medley of songs, including their hit “Fallin’.”

Keys appeared at the piano on stage at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center and began singing her and Jay-Z’s 2009 hit. She soon got up and walked down the stage steps and into the orchestra seating section and out the side of the auditorium: “I had to do something crazy. It’s my hometown,” she explained to the crowd, moments later she apparently joined the rapper on the venue’s marble steps amidst wild applause. “Brooklyn, New York City at the Tonys tonight!” Jay-Z said goodbye at the end.

The public and media were inside the auditorium and no photos of the two artists live have appeared. A version of the two finishing the song was broadcast to the television audience and to a video screen inside the venue. Keys wore the same outfit she wore on stage. Jay-Z was never seen entering the packed auditorium.

While some parts of the Tony telecast are prerecorded (technical awards presented before the show, some publicity packages, and often segments of the most nominated works), the sense is that the musical performances are what the audience sees when Go to Broadway, no tricks.

New York Magazine first reported that the segment had been pre-recorded.

Mark Kennedy is in

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