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Alicia Keys Puts On One-Woman Show at Sandy Concert
By Jason Lipshutz and Erika Ramirez, N.Y. ,  Billboard

Billboard --


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The 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief featured some of the biggest names in popular music -- Paul McCartney! Billy Joel! Kanye West! -- and most of them happened to be male. Thankfully, Alicia Keys was on-hand to deliver a brief set before leading the crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden in an emotional encore performance on Wednesday night (Dec. 12).

Sporting a sleek new haircut, the sole female performr of the evening kicked off her set with her latest "Girl on Fire" single, "Brand New Me." The singer sat behind her piano and belted the words of the emotional ballad with full force, before transitioning into fan favorite "No One." The R&B star left the crowd wanting for more after performing only two songs -- unbeknownst to most in attendance, she'd strut back on stage hours later to close the benefit concert with the song many hoped to hear, "Empire State of Mind." Dedicated servicemen and women swayed in rhythm onstage as Keys capped the night off with the ode to "concrete jungles where dreams are made of."

"I think it's amazing to be able to be here and be the only woman," Alicia Keys told Fuse of her one-woman show. "I think it's really special and to be amongst so many incredible legendary artists and just [be] about music and helping each other. It's really important to me. I'm honored to be representing all of us women who really, really contribute so much to our lives every day." Keys' double performance came one week after her latest studio album, "Girl on Fire," debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart. Between the two Keys sets, artists like Joel, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Michael Stipe and McCartney with the surviving members of Nirvana performed at the star-studded benefit concert.

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