Alicia Keys stopped at New York City's Madison Square Garden last night (March 17) during her "Freedom Tour" and gave her hometown fans a special treat with surprise performances from Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz.
Keys first performed new and old tracks like "Love Is Blind," "If I Can't Have You" and a stunning duet with former back-up singer Jermaine Paul -- who also served as an opening act along with Melanie Fiona and Robin Thicke -- for "Diary." But it was when the drums to her single "Put It In A Love Song" blared through the speakers that the crowd got most fired up. After performing her verse Keys introduced Beyoncé, who descended from the top of a staircase located towards the back of the stage and joined Keys for the remainder of the song. Ending in a dance routine, the performance marked the first time the two artists ever shared a stage.
With Beyoncé making a surprise appearance onstage, it was only fitting that her husband would do the same at the self-proclaimed "House that Hovie built." As Keys momentarily stopped playing the piano, her alleged boyfriend, producer/rapper Beatz, took the stage to his own collaboration with Jay-Z "On To The Next One," before Jay-Z himself came out for a performance of "Empire State of Mind." Scenes of Times Square and the city skyline appeared on the jumbo screens behind, setting the perfect backdrop for the Big Apple anthem as the masses sang in unison and waved their hands in the air.
"Thank you so much New York City! Thank you for welcoming me home!" Keys said nostalgically before exiting the stage. "I encourage you to continue to find your freedom, continue to find your way. God Bless you, my hometown. We love you!"