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The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards came to an unexpected conclusion when Lil Mama famously crashed Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s performance of “Empire State of Mind.”
More than a decade later, Keys says all is forgiven — and that she didn’t even realize Lil Mama was on the stage.
“Of course, of course. Listen, to this day, I truly never knew she was even on the stage,” Keys said on “The Morning Hustle” when asked whether she forgave Lil Mama. “That’s the craziest part of the whole thing for me. I was on that stage, Jay was in the middle, she was on the other side of Jay, and I never saw her. Never. So, that was wild to me.”
She continued: “But I absolutely… it’s not even a statement. That was then. You know, she’s from New York, too. You know, I think she really felt the energy of the record and she loved it and she couldn’t hold herself back. Look, this is what my music does to people. What can we say?”
Previously on The “Today Show,” Keys said the following of Lil Mama’s interruption: “I’d rather not speak about [it] because the performance was so phenomenal that it really doesn’t matter about anything else,” she told Hoda Kotb. “We can appreciate her being overwhelmed and inspired. But we would have appreciated it if she would have did it from her seat.”
Lil Mama said she reached out to both artists to apologize.
“I entered the industry as a teenage Black girl from Brooklyn & Harlem NY. These situations are with mature adults at least 10 years my senior. I reached out in private to create an opportunity for communication and clarity,” she said in response to a fan. She says neither artist responded to her olive branch.