Manchester Explosion

Keys Performance Irks British Legislator

Five-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys' performance Friday in London at a building connected to Parliament has drawn the ire of one of Britain's legislators. An invited audience of journalists and school

Five-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys' performance Friday in London at a building connected to Parliament has drawn the ire of one of Britain's legislators. An invited audience of journalists and schoolchildren saw the 21-year-old Keys sing at Portcullis House in a room often used for lawmakers' committee meetings. Playing a keyboard, the singer performed several songs including her hit single "Fallin'" and a rendition of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly."

But opposition Liberal Democrat legislator Paul Tyler was not impressed with the performance, saying Parliament facilities had effectively been used to promote a musician's albums. "House authorities may have unwittingly created a precedent for all sorts of commercial events. How can they now resist the Brit Awards, Miss World, or the launch of a new deodorant?"

Lawmaker David Lammy, 29, asked Keys to perform there in an effort to convince his younger constituents that Parliament is "hip," not dull. Both Lammy and Keys are black.

Lammy said Keys -- who grew up in a tough New York neighborhood and whose J Records debut album, "Songs in A Minor," was one of last year's top sellers -- could inspire youngsters from his own inner-city constituency of Tottenham in north London. "We see, on the news, stories of black boys underachieving in schools, stories about gun violence. Alicia is obviously the opposite to that -- and so, I hope, am I," Lammy said. "Soul comes out of the neighborhood, neighborhoods just like Tottenham."


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