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On October 9th 2016, Alicia Keys threw a surprise concert in Times Square to support her upcoming Here LP. Keys invited a bevy of special guests to contribute to the musical celebration, including John Mayer and Questlove, who previously had shared a stage at the Roots Picnic in Bryant Park the weekend before. Hip-hop phenoms Q-Tip, Jay Z, and Nas were among the many other musicians that performed at the pop-up performance.
Of noteworthy performances was the exquisite collaboration between John Mayer, Questlove, and Alicia Keys, who go way back in the pop and R&B world. Mayer and The Roots drummer collaborated on Keys’ 2009 “If I Ain’t Got You” in the studio, and again in this very special rendition on October 9th, 2016. Once the pianist/singer/songwriter started into the throwback hit, Questlove sat behind the kit, then Mayer eventually joined the stage and took the second verse upon his own vocals. The two sang the chorus together before Mayer took an incredibly bluesy guitar solo, meandering into his own “Gravity.” The two vocalists shared the song beautifully before returning back into “If I Ain’t Got You.” The mash-up was one that any music lover could appreciate. There is now professional shot footage of this collaboration via BET, that, in my humble opinion, is worth pausing the football game for.