Alicia Keys knows how to give a moving performance. The singer delivered the first live performance of her heartbreaking new song, "Perfect Way to Die," at the 2020 BET Awards on Sunday, and it had fans feeling emotional.
"Whether it's spiritual, or the blues, jazz, or hip-hop, music has always been the voice of the Black experience. It speaks to our resilience, our resistance, and even in the messiest of circumstances we find melody," BET Awards host Amanda Seales began as she introduced Keys' performance. "Tonight, as we revel in Black music, we must also honor the lives of those who have brought us to this moment of consciousness."
Keys initially wrote "Perfect Way to Die" with the deaths of Michael Brown and Sandra Bland in mind, but her performance at the BET Awards paid tribute to many others who tragically lost their lives, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Keys explained to her fans on June 18 that she has felt "called by music like I never have before." "I have been following its lead. It has led me to the song 'A Perfect Way to Die,'" she wrote on Instagram. "The song title is so powerful and heartbreaking because WE are heartbroken by so many who have died unjustly."
"Of course, there is NO perfect way to die. That phrase doesn’t even make sense," Keys continued. "Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence."
"Sometimes I don’t have the words and music is the only thing that can speak. I hope this speaks to you. I hope one day this song won’t be so relevant," she concluded her post. "Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice."
Fans felt exactly what Keys was feeling while watching her emotional BET Awards performance.
"Alicia Keys highlighting the Black women who have died due to racist violence squeezed my heart. Rest in peace to Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Ranisha McBride, Korryn Gaines, and the many more of us who have been taken away. #BETAwards," one user wrote.
Alicia Keys highlighting the Black women who have died due to racist violence squeezed my heart. Rest in peace to Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Ranisha McBride, Korryn Gaines, and the many more of us who have been taken away. #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/srgPB7vu4P— Mar-kw-ASIA (@MarquaysaBattle) June 29, 2020
"Alicia keys got me in my feelings #BETAwards," another added.
See more reactions below.
Watch the video below for more on the BET Awards.