Watch: Alicia Keys Belts ‘Brand New Me’ On ‘Wendy’

Fresh from her stunning NBA All Star Game halftime performance, ‘Karma’ craftswoman Alicia Keys came around to the ‘Wendy’ show to discuss motherhood, marriage, and Miguel – her tourmate on the hotly selling ‘Set the World On Fire’ tour.

Also lending a fiery performance of ‘Brand New Me’ from her critically acclaimed quinary album ‘Girl On Fire’, see Mrs. Beatz do what she does best below:



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  1. JOHNVIDAL February 18, 2013

    Great! Great song and great album
    Promo is going to kill her though. But even if she retires tomorrow she can say she is the most successful R&B act of the last decade

  2. King B>Rihanna February 18, 2013


  3. ƸӜƷ MC ƸӜƷ February 18, 2013

    Alicia looks gorgeous. She can really perform this song, great for her. Its also great that she promotes her work instead of letting it die out like some people.

    This album lyrically is great, her voice is just……

  4. Edward Ponton February 18, 2013

    Fa sho

  5. Suicide Blonde February 18, 2013

    Alicia is so cool, always nice, there should be more people like her in the business.

  6. Aishaaguilerakeystesfaye February 18, 2013

    That was a stunning perf, MUCH better vocally than the NBA perf, and she looked great, too, LOVE that dress and color on her.

  7. dboy6 February 18, 2013

    b**** u 32

  8. Mark111 February 18, 2013

    Great job AK, love her, love the album. When she sits, her voice is on point. And the promo, she been everywhere, her Bey, Rih, even Dawn Richards is on it, now that’s how it’s done, don’t know what the rest are doing.

  9. eric February 18, 2013

    I liked her BET Honors performance.

  10. truth(i will draaag the F*** outta icki and her stans) February 18, 2013

    i caint get pass Ledisi and Brandy to see any other performance ^^^^^ but i’m sure its nice

  11. King B>Rihanna February 18, 2013

    ARTICLE: The Difference Between ‘Singers’ And ‘Vocalists’…

    The question concerning the difference between ‘singers’ and ‘vocalists’ is one that many appear to have an issue with. Indeed, while it is undeniably true that there are several factors that separate the former from the latter, it seems that only a select few seem to actually know what they are and just how valuable they are for artists to have in their bag of tricks. This article aims to outline just what those factors are, identify just who among your favourite artists is a vocalist, who is a singer and what identifies them as such.

    The main problem that many seem to have concerning this issue is that of what actually sets singers and vocalists apart. To be fair, it is admittedly one that the general public does not appear to understand mainly because, in today’s ‘fast food’ music environment, they are seemingly less concerned with the quality of an artist’s vocals, and more with the alleged ‘catchiness’ of their latest wannabe hit. Only true connoisseurs still have an appreciation for the fine art of vocal mastery and, while it is a shame, it is hardly surprising. Still, it is of great importance that knowledge is imparted, even though it might be ignored.

    One of the skills that a vocalist has is their ability to traverse octaves with ease and without strain. Singers, on the other hand, lack the proficiency to do this successfully. One such example is that of the alleged ‘Voice of our Generation’, Miss Christina Aguilera. Despite her fans (ironically) oft-shouted claims to the contrary, Christina has never been in possession of the art. Case in point, her showing of James Brown’s ‘It’s a Man’s World’ at the Grammy Awards in 2008, her alleged ‘best performance’. The final quarter of Christina’s rendition lacked the finesse, subtlety and skill required to pull off the numerous runs and vocal acrobatics she unsuccessfully attempted, resulting in a thin, whiny soulless performance.

    Additionally, another of Christina’s worst vocal faults was also on display: that of her frequent need to pull the microphone away from her mouth in order to fool the audience into believing that she is singing, rather than merely shouting, certain notes. This is a trait that only a ‘singer’ would do, and particularly one that lacks proper vocal technique.

    Noted vocalists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Patti Labelle (who has, incredibly, managed to maintain her voice and much of its renowned power late into her sixties), have no need for such tricks. They do not require the use of smoke and mirrors to trick the public into thinking they are capable of much more than they actually are.

    It is impossible to overemphasise the importance of good vocal technique. Many mistake tone and inherent talent for it and, while those factors are also significant, they can only do so much when an artist lacks the musical knowledge and ability to maximise their true potential.

    Christina is, once again, an example of this. Her voice has one of the most beautiful tones to emerge in over a decade and her inherent talent is undeniable but, as she lacks the musical knowledge that other artists have, she is unable to make the most of it. One such example is that of the lack of vocal prowess made evident in her higher notes (above a C5), which tend to sound forced, thin and lack power due to incorrect placing. Indeed, one only has to watch any of her performances to notice that she sings from her throat – something that is inadvisable as it has a negative effect on an singer’s most important instrument.

    Vocalists do not make such notable errors. Their throats are noticeably relaxed as they ascend into the higher registers, ensuring the sound is rich and full and that strain is not placed on their vocal cords. Whitney Houston’s Grammy rendition of ‘One Moment In Time’ is a choice example of this. The final portion of the performance, in particular, is well noted for its demonstration of Whitney’s famed vocal dexterity and excellent technique.

    Additionally, vocalists have an innate knowledge of music. Arguably one of the best examples of an artist who possesses this strength is Mariah Carey. One only has to listen to her debut single, Vision of Love, to bear witness to her excellent use of melisma, vocal layering and riffs, as well as her perfect timing and inherent accuracy. She also has the enviable ability to interpret instrumentation and music in a manner that best shows itself off during live performances. Her backing singers (no doubt guided vocally by Mariah) compliment her voice through the aforementioned techniques, and add to the songs’ emotive message and the live performance as a whole. The end result is often even better than the studio version. Such technique at this level is almost impossible to teach and requires a good musical ear. Merely throwing a few ‘woos’ and ‘yeeaahs’ here and there does not equate to this, and this is something that singers do not realise.

    Christina is, once again, one of the worst repeat offenders. She has clearly studied at the feet of such vocal giants as Aretha, Whitney and Mariah, and has subsequently tried to replicate their best vocal moments in much of her discography. Unfortunately, she lacks the musical knowledge required to place their oft-used techniques where they would best suit the instrumentation and the message she is trying to convey, and her performances end up sounding like X Factor-audition version of the originals.

    In comparison, an artist who has become a notable vocalist in recent years is Beyoncé. 4 was the record where her ability really shone and, though she lacks the inherent talent that Christina possesses, she has a greater knowledge of music and has constantly worked over the last decade to improve her range and technique. The song I Care best showed this, with the much-discussed guitar break (and her accompanying, complimentary vocal) being the key example. Her use of melisma, riffs and layering (the latter perhaps best exemplified on Party) compliment, rather than detract, from the tracks and their respective messages, and that ability is something singers often lack.

    Finally, vocalists understand the limitations of their voices and also how to use their strengths so as to make up for them. Brandy is one such artist. Though she may lack the renowned range artists like Aretha and Whitney possess (though it is still impressive), she makes up for it by using her voice to the best of its ability. The track Nothing on the fan-favourite Full Moon record is, arguably, the prime example of Brandy’s vocal prowess. The exemplary use of layering and melisma, as well as her perfect pitch and beautifully-executed runs, displayed her voice to perfection and also demonstrated the fact that power is not a prerequisite for a vocalist (another such example is that of Janet Jackson who lacks power but is a great vocalist). In fact, subtlety can be an artist’s greatest weapon when portraying vocal emotion (something that Christina actually did right on one of the brighter spots on Bionic, You Lost Me. Her sweetly-sung bridges, in particular, were a beautiful example of expertly-used melisma. Sadly, this subtlety is something Ms Aguilera employs far too rarely).

    Allow us to briefly expand on that final point. One error singers often make is that of mistaking power for intensity and expression of emotion. Indeed, artists the likes of Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson often fall prey to this weakness, with songs such as ‘No One’ being notable examples of where they have fallen short. Placing on emphasis on pure power, without the backing of good technique, often leads to vocal pitfalls such as over-singing and strain on the vocal cords. The esteemed vocalist, Patti Labelle, however is an example of an artist that has not sacrificed good technique to the false idol that is power. While she has one of the most powerful voices in the industry, Patti combines that ability with nigh flawless technique and, as a result, the quality and clarity of her voice has been maintained over her long career.

    Singers do not have this ability. Christina Aguilera, notably, lacks this ability. She has yet to acknowledge the limitations of her voice that have resulted due to years of abuse, over-singing and lack of vocal technique, and persists in trying (and failing) to hits notes she could barely reach live in her vocal heyday. To understand fully to what extent, one has only to watch her performance of Fighter on the Daily Show back in 2010. Each note above G5 was noticeably difficult for her to reach and, consequently, the performance descended into a mockery of the song itself. Her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at last year’s Superbowl is another instance where her strong (arguably misplaced) sense of self-belief superseded the reality of what her voice could actually achieve. Soon arriving at the reality of the situation she had found herself in, Christina resorted to her usual habit of over-singing, straining and, finally, screaming each note and suffered (justifiably) heavy criticism for it the following day.

    To conclude, allow us to clarify the core point. Singers merely ‘sing’ songs; children on playgrounds across the world do the very same on a daily basis. Anyone can be a singer. It does not require good vocal technique, a knowledge of music, an acknowledgement of one’s weaknesses or a maximisation of one’s true potential. In today’s market, it is barely even a prerequisite that one possess the ability to carry a tune. Vocalists, on the other hand, are of a significantly higher calibre. They are artists; experts at their craft. They don’t merely make their voice a medium through which to carry a tune, rather they use their voice as an entirely new instrument. Vocalists employ the use of various vocal techniques (executed well) and possess an innate artistry that singers lack. Their extensive knowledge and understanding of music sets them apart. They are, arguably, the antithesis of ‘singers’.

    To further elucidate: Rihanna is a singer, Beyoncé is a vocalist. Christina Aguilera is a singer, Jessie J is a vocalist. Whitney, Aretha, Minnie Ripperton, Mariah Carey, Patti Labelle, Brandy (as well as male artists like Maxwell, Bruno Mars and the legendary Stevie Wonder); they are vocalists. Indeed, with the numerous skills they possess, placing their names in the same sentence as even the most renowned of singers is little more than veiled insult.

  12. LOL February 18, 2013

    Alicia Keys interviews very well, unlike Beyonce. Also Alicia you are one of the best raw real artist around. You are appreciated

  13. Edward Ponton February 18, 2013

    How is someone using my name and email on here? That’s crazy AF. Lame ass n*****

  14. CHUDDS February 18, 2013

    I really enjoyed that singers vs vocalists article!!! I really enjoy the ART of singing.

    I never noticed how short Alicia’s arms are.

  15. Nick February 18, 2013

    LOVELY, really good interview & that song is just beautiful, LOVE THIS CD!

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