Alicia Keys

Diva teases & pleases    ·    October 11th, 2004

Alicia Keys gets saucy on stage and woos fans here with her dancing, acting

EVERYONE knows US R&B artist Alicia Keys is great at tickling the ivory keys and working those pipes.

But dance, and even act?

At her concert at Suntec City last night, the 23-year-old proved herself to be an all-round entertainer.

The Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter was in an upbeat mood when she kicked off her gig, which lasted for 1 1/2 hours.

Togged out in a blue halter top and white hipster pants, the slinky sista shimmied like a Turkish belly dancer as she belted out her more uptempo songs like Heartburn.

She told the 5,000-strong sold-out crowd to ’stand up and jump’, causing a tremor in the back section, where the audience were seated on an elevated platform.

SIZZLING SIREN

Keys, known more for being a serious musician, was a sizzling siren on stage last night. At one point, she crawled seductively on top of the grand piano - to the tune of the sultry number, Slow Down.

‘Can I have some red light on me, please,’ she purred.

And she got it.

Things got saucier when Keys took ‘a break’. One of her three back-up vocalists - a hunk referred to as Jeremiah - wiped her forehead and offered her a drink from a bottle.

Just as he was about to turn away, she pulled his hand and gave him a peck on the cheek.

That act brought the house down with boisterous cheers from the audience.

Keys sure is showing her talent in acting, or at least, in teasing.

And that would certainly make her avid fans rush to catch her big screen debut in an upcoming yet-untitled movie.

Keys, whose mum is white and dad black, stars as the legendary black pianist Philipa Schuyler in the biographical movie produced by Hollywood actress Halle Berry.

As if to prove her acting potential, Keys role-played a classical music conductor during her concert. And she didn’t even have to face the audience or do a dialogue.

With her back to the crowd, Keys, who had slipped on a blue tuxedo, made pomp gesticulations for, no doubt, a theatrical effect.

The four musicians, who supported the concert, followed her cue, playing bits of other artistes’ hit songs, one of which happened to be Usher’s Yeah.

Could this be some sort of affirmation of her rumoured relationship with Usher? The two had worked closely on the duet My Boo and have been spotted on dates, prompting talk that they had gone beyond being just collaborators.

But Keys said they were just ‘friends’ in an earlier interview with The New Paper.

On reports that they are dating, she had said: ‘That’s what people want to believe. We have been friends for a long time (since she was 15).’

But all the drama and Beyonce Knowles-dance moves did not distract the audience from Keys’ real talent - her voice.

The crooner, who dropped out of a performing arts degree course but scored an international recording deal, received a standing ovation for chart-toppers, If I Ain’t Got You and Fallin’.

And she pleased the audience even more when she substituted the lyrics of the Streets Of New York with Singapore.

Keys told the audience, mostly made up of yuppies, that she has had fun in Singapore. (See other report.)

The singer performed in Singapore as part of her Asia-Pacific tour that includes Tokyo and Sydney. She kicked off the tour with a gig at the Great Wall Of China two weeks ago.

Last Friday, she played in Kuala Lumpur. Some Malaysian fans, who had missed her concert there, had turned up last night.

One of them is Tan Lay Cheng, a 20-year-old student from Johor Baru.

Like any die-hard fan, she was gushing about her idol. But she did sum her up correctly: ‘Alicia is truly a great performer.’



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