Keys was all smiles as she joined Grammys CEO Neil Portnow, show producer Ken Ehrlich and others for a toast at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the 61st Grammys will take place Sunday.
The piano-playing singer said the ceremony “will be about the celebration and the power of music.”
“There’s a sense of community that I want to bring to the stage,” Keys said. “So many times you come to these things as an artist and you’re juggling so many things and there’s so much pressure on you. I would love to ensure the peace and the good energy in the room so that our shoulders can all drop and we can feel the true blessing of having music as a universal language.”
Keys has won 15 Grammys throughout her career and is hosting the show for the first time. LL Cool J was the longtime host until James Corden took over in 2017 and 2018.
“We’re all very excited, and the energy you’re going to feel is far different than anything you’ve ever felt,” she said.
Women have a larger presence at this year’s Grammys after being nearly muted at the 2018 show. Female voices represent the majority in two of the top categories. Album-of-the-year nominees include Kacey Musgraves, H.E.R., Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile and Cardi B. Best-new-artist contenders include H.E.R., Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Chloe x Halle and Jorja Smith.
Lady Gaga, SZA, Maren Morris and Ella Mai also scored nominations in big categories such as song or record of the year.
“Celebrating so many amazing nominees, particularly women nominees … is so incredibly magnificent and so many are my friends,” Keys said.