Alicia Keys: Soul Star
Jaded Insider hit the Heineken Red Star Soul finale last night (Oct. 24th) at New York's Spotlight Live, headlined by Alicia Keys. As usual, Spotlight was packed to the neckline, so J.I. was a little hot and bothered, but the free Heinekens made things a little easier for everyone.
Among the celebs in the house were R&B singer Fantasia and Ralph McDaniels, who was honored with the Heineken Independent Achiever Award for his contribution to R&B music.
Jermaine Paul was the first to hit the stage, performing three tracks that, though unknown to J.I., were still enjoyable. Paul has an amazing voice and range (which is probably why he's Keys' background singer). Still, we suspect he was only filling for original opener Teedra Moses, who was dropped (for unknown reasons) midway through the tour. J.I. hearts Moses, btw.
Emily King performed next, starting with our favorite song off her debut set, "You and I." With guitar in hand, King ran through a five-track set that included "Walk in My Shoes" and "Colorblind." She ended her performance by singing happy birthday, with the help of the audience, to the night's co-host Kenny Burns. (He hosted along BET's Daniella).
DJ Cassidy kept the crowd entertained on the 1s and 2s, but without much delay Keys finally took the stage. She was sporting silver metallic tights and a loose-fitting silver/purple sparkly tank, and her hair was in loose curls. While rocking on the piano, Keys sang old and new songs alike, including "Woman's Worth," "Unbreakable," "You Don't Know My Name," "If I Ain't Got You" and, of course, "No One." She even sang a beautiful rendition of Force MD's "Tender Love" that had the entire audience swaying from side to side in unison.
We walked out right before the after party started, so we can't tell you exactly how that went. But, based on the line that was already forming outside when we crept out, we can imagine it was a hit as well.