Alicia Keys was honoured at this year’s Power of Women New York luncheon, hosted by Variety, with the singer lauded for launching Keep a Child Alive, an nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV.
In her speech, the “Voice” coach touched upon a wide range of issues, including the lack of female performers at the 2018 Grammy Awards and Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s controversial statement that women need to “step up” in order to gain recognition in the music industry.
“We are more on fire than we’ve ever been — and look at all the action that’s around us: women running for office in record numbers, women banding together in the entertainment industry, women demanding an end to disparity in the music industry like equal representation on the Grammy stage,” she said. “We were told we need to step up. Well, you feel that step up now?”
Keys, 37, also tackled the recent controversy surrounding “The Crown” when it was revealed that star Claire Foy — who played the Queen — earned less money than Matt Smith, who portrayed Prince Philip, despite the fact that Foy’s role is the central one in the series.
“It’s called ‘The Crown’. It’s about the Queen. So why is the Prince getting more than the Queen?” she quipped. “So the queens are going to get their paper.”
Keys pointed to a sea change for women that she can see happening all around her while realizing there’s much work still to be done. “Finally the country started listening,” she added. “I have so much pride in all of us women finding our voice. But this isn’t only women’s work — I saw the men, they were a little shook. I don’t want them to feel that way because it takes great men, and there are so many of them, who support us in raising our voices to make this cultural change happen.”
You can watch her speech from the event (which was presented by Lifetime, and sponsored by Karma Automotive and SheaMoisture) in its entirety above.