Alicia Keys defends singing Empire State of Mind, says Queen Elizabeth wanted it

Alicia Keys on the red carpet
Alicia Keys says the Queen personally requested all the songs she sang at the Jubilee. Pic credit: © Collin/Image Press Agency

Alicia Keys has hit back at those who criticized her for singing Empire State of Mind at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by claiming Her Majesty actually requested the song herself.

The 41-year-old singer performed a set on Saturday in front of Buckingham Palace along with many other celebrities and bands, including Queen, Duran Duran, Diana Ross, Elton John, and many more.

Alicia performed Superwoman and Girl on Fire, but also Empire State of Mind, a song that essentially is a love letter to New York. This left many fans confused about why she would pick such a song for a performance celebrating the English Queen right at the center of London’s beating heart.

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However, the singer has cleared up any confusion by stating that the 96-year-old Monarch requested the song. Alicia posted a sweet video to Instagram, which showed snippets of her preparing for the concert along with clips of her set and some sights of London.

Alicia Keys argues that you can’t refuse the Queen

In one segment of the video, she addressed the camera and said she told her sons that “the Queen requested the songs” and that they had told her she couldn’t refuse Her Majesty. Her son, Eygpt, confirmed this by saying: “You can’t refuse the Queen. It’s against the law here!”

Keys captioned the video by writing: “Epic night at the jubilee!! Celebrating the Queen and all the Queens!!!!!” before adding: “FYI: Every song was requested personally by the Queen. Even EMPIRE!! Big lovvveeee!!!!!”

Many fans wrote in the comments section of Alicia’s post to say how much they appreciated her performance. Commenters wrote words like “amazing” and “phenomenal.”

One fan wrote: “You killed it Saturday night. My 10yrs old niece and l were in the crowd and thought you was amazing. A night she will never forget.” And another called Alicia “inspiring.”

Instagram praise for Keys
Pic credit: @aliciakeys/Instagram

But many fans were left confused by Alicia Key’s song choice for Platinum Jubilee

Alicia Keys has faced some mockery and scorn during and after playing the Empire State of Mind at Buckingham Palace.

Before singing, Alicia told the crowd, “When I’m in London, it reminds me so much of New York,” and in one of the later verses, she changed the lyrics from “New York” to “London;” however, many were still deeply unimpressed. Music critic Neil McCormick called it “a slightly awkward attempt to shoe in her signature anthem.”

Tweet mocking Alicia Keys
Pic credit: @neil_mccormick/Twitter

Other Twitter users posted memes to illustrate their confusion at the song choice.

However, it just turns out the 96-year-old Monarch is a big fan of the song, at least according to Alicia.

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