Alicia Keys will debut new music from her next album during the first-ever live musical performance as a part of the opening ceremony for the UEFA Champions League Final in Italy next month.
UEFA and Pepsi announced that the Grammy-winning singer will be the first musical act to perform as a part of the final, which is aired in more than 220 countries.
The singer has been working on a follow-up to her 2012 studio album Girl on Fire, but she was coy about the new songs she’ll be performing on May 28.
“I have to leave it as a surprise for sure ’cause that’s … part of the fun of it,” Keys said in a phone interview from New York on Tuesday. “But you’re definitely going to hear some new music.”
The multi-platinum singer, songwriter and pianist was feeling the energy and excitement of spring as she talked about the upcoming performance and new music. The mother of two is also going to be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on May 7 and will be a judge on the next season of The Voice, alongside Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus.
“It’s such a fresh time for music. To me, it’s my favorite time,” Keys said.
She’ll have a global stage to introduce her new music to millions of football fans worldwide from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan. And as the inaugural performance for the opening ceremony, she said wants to put her own creative stamp on the show.
“It’s pretty insane. I know there is going to be 80,000 people there in person and people are all over the world are going to witness it and watch this and celebrate,” Keys said. “It’s a huge space to fill.”
Music, Keys said, transcends language, so she’s excited to perform for fans all around Europe.
“No matter what you speak, you understand. You understand the emotion, you understand the feeling,” she said. “And I think that’s what is so magical about music, what makes us love it so much.”
Keys also said she is looking forward to returning to Italy, a place that feels like home to her.
“My mother’s family is from Italy, so whenever I go, I always feel the most loved,” Keys said. “I feel like it’s a homecoming of love in a lot of ways.”