- – Alicia Keys delivered an emotional performance with her new song, “Perfect Way to Die,” at Sunday’s BET Awards, honouring victims of police brutality and racism.
- – Seated at a piano, the singer belted out the ballad on an empty street chalked with names including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Trayvon Martin.
Alicia Keys paid powerful tribute to the Black lives lost to police brutality and racist acts of violence during her BET Awards performance last night. Dressed in all black and seated at a piano in the middle of an empty street, the singer serenaded viewers with her newest single, “Perfect Way to Die,” a chilling ballad commemorating the deaths caused by racial injustice. On the pavement around her, the names of victims George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and dozens more were written in chalk.
The song is brimming with poignant lyrics, beginning with the opening lines: “Simple walk to the corner store / Mama never thought she would be gettin’ a call from the coroner / Said her son’s been gunned down, been gunned down / ‘Can you come now?’”
Keys dropped the song on June 19, in the wake of uprisings sparked by the unjust deaths of Floyd, Taylor, Arbery, and countless other Black citizens caused by police violence or racism. “Of course, there is NO perfect way to die. That phrase doesn’t even make sense,” Keys said on Instagram of the song when it first debuted. “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.”
In another post, Keys reflected on last night’s set, writing, “There’s so much on our minds and in our hearts! My favourite thing about music is how it reminds us that we’re not alone. This performance for the BET Awards touched me deeply. What did u feel?”
Watch Keys’s full BET Awards performance below.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.