Alicia Keys has made a surprise appearance in London’s St. Pancras International station, performing for fans from one of its pianos.
On Monday (December 11), the singer sat at a black piano that was donated by Sir Elton John to serenade commuters with several of her hits, including ‘Empire State of Mind’, ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ and ‘No One’. In addition, she performed her latest single, ‘Lifeline’, which she wrote for the upcoming film adaptation of broadway musical and 1982 novel, The Color Purple.
In a clip posted by St. Pancras International station, fans and photographers can be seen surrounding a barricade set up around the piano, holding up their phones and cameras as Keys belts ‘No One’. Keys also reportedly changed the ‘Empire State of Mind’ line “now you’re in New York” to “now you’re in London”, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Watch Alicia Keys perform in St. Pancras International station below:
Alicia Keys is the latest in a string of artists who have performed brief sets in the station, including John Legend, Tom Odell and Jeff Goldblum. Last week, Rod Stewart and Jools Holland were joined by an 18-piece band in front of the station’s Christmas tree to perform songs from their upcoming album, ‘Swing Fever’.
The ‘Empire State of Mind’ singer’s appearance at St. Pancras station follows her appearance at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2023, which took place at The O2 Arena on December 9 and 10 alongside a slate of pop artists including Tate McRae, Becky Hill, Zara Larsson, Rita Ora, S Club and Take That.
Keys’ last full-length was 2021’s ‘Keys’, which served as a companion album to her album from the year before, ‘Alicia’. The 93-minute double album garnered a three-star review from NME, with Nick Levine highlighting its novel concept in spite of its lack of variety, writing: “With some judicious pruning and sharp sequencing, any Keys fan should be able to carve out a pretty satisfying playlist. So, in its own accidental way, it’s a double album that works perfectly for the streaming era.”
In the summer this year, Keys embarked on the South American leg of her ‘Alicia + Keys World Tour’, before touring North America again on the 22-date ‘Keys To The Summer’ tour. Most recently, she lent songs from her back catalogue to a new Off-Broadway musical, Hell’s Kitchen, which premiered in New York City’s The Public Theatre in mid-November.
The official synopsis of Hell’s Kitchen notes the musical revolves around 17-year-old protagonist Ali, who falls in love with a fellow young musician, prompting “both mother and daughter [to] face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up”.