Apple Music announced Friday (Dec. 16) that Alicia Keys is bringing her first-ever Holiday Masquerade Ball to the streaming service later this month.
A trailer for the virtual event — which will stream Wednesday (Dec. 21) — shows the superstar performing a soulful cover of “Please Come Home for Christmas” on the Apple Music Live stage. “Bells will be ringing sad sad news/ Oh, what a Christmas to have the blues/ My baby is gone and I have no friends/ To wish me greetings once again/ Choirs be singing ‘Silent Night’/ Christmas carols by the candlelight,” she sings while pairing a bejeweled mask quite literally dripping in crystals with a sleek, tuxedo-inspired pantsuit.
Alicia Keys Is Ready to ‘Create Memories’ With Her Soulful First Holiday Album ‘Santa Baby’
With an assist from TikTok, the Masquerade Ball will feature music from Keys’ new holiday album, Santa Baby, and include appearances by JVKE and Jon Batiste.
“This is THEE Holiday party of the season,” Keys said in a statement. “I’m grateful to Apple Music and TikTok for helping me create a magic moment to showcase my first holiday album, in such a special way, for everyone around the world.”
Upon its November release exclusively on Apple Music and the iTunes Store, Santa Baby debuted in the top 20 on Billboard‘s Top Holiday Albums chart and has so far spent five weeks and counting on the tally. The studio set — a follow-up to 2021’s KEYS — was preceded by original holiday offering and lead single “December Back 2 June.”
Keys also stopped by Billboard‘s Pop Shop Podcast earlier this month to chat about the album, telling hosts Katie Atkinson and Keith Caufield, “It has a soulfulness, a rawness, it has that New York energy in it too, but it just feels like something you could play from top to bottom. And I recorded it like that; we recorded it very consistently over about seven days, and it all really feels cohesive and great. And so I love it. I think now is the time.”
Watch the trailer for Keys’ Holiday Masquerade Ball here.
Over the past three years, the music business has become less dependent on the biggest hits, which account for a smaller share of total streams than they once did. Not in December, though. Holiday music is dominated by a relatively small number of big recordings — Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — and that […]
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