Shemar Moore swung by The Jennifer Hudson Show on Thursday (Jan. 26) to share an amusing story about being turned down by Alicia Keys in his Soul Train days.
“I tried to get at Alicia Keys, I ain’t gonna lie,” he said with a laugh after naming the many, many famous faces he met during his stint hosting the musical variety show from 1999 to 2003. “I tried! And no, I’ve told this story from time to time but the short version of it is, I saw her at the Soul Train Awards, I was in my dressing room. I looked at the monitor, there she was with her cornrows. And this is when her song ‘Fallin’ was first blowing up, she was just getting ready to explode.
“So she’s playing the piano, doing her thing,” the Criminal Minds alum continued. “And my favorite instrument is the piano. So fast forward about four months, she’s having a listening party here in L.A. So me and my homie, I was like, ‘Yo, Alicia’s performing, we gotta go, we gotta go!'”
From there, Moore gathered up the courage to approach Keys at the rooftop listening party, and even inquired about what her “man situation was like.” However, the R&B star’s reaction was not what he expected.
“And she goes, ‘Check this out, son,'” he recalled to a giddy Jennifer Hudson, “‘I respect your flirt game. But my man situation is handled.’ I walked away so uncool, I was like [drops head in shame].”(At the time, Keys was dating Kerry Brothers Jr., though she’s since married longtime love Swizz Beatz.)
This week, Keys hit No. 1 on the Adult R&B Airplay chart with her KEYS II single “Trillions” featuring Brent Faiyaz (chart dated Jan. 28).
Watch Moore recount the story of Keys’ blunt rejection below.