Alicia Keys calls on artists to 'refuse the old system'

Alicia Keys called on artists to "refuse the old system" as she hosted the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night (26.01.20).

The 39-year-old star made reference to the controversy surrounding the Recording Academy's recent politics - which has prompted accusations of sexism and voting irregularities - as she hosted the show at the Staples Center.

Alicia told the crowd at the glitzy ceremony: "I'm proud to be here. And I'm proud to be here and feel the energy of the artists.

"It's a new decade. We can reuse the negative energy. We refuse the old system, we want to be respected in our diversity."

The controversy Alicia referred to centres on Deborah Dugan - the former CEO of the Recording Academy, the body that oversees the Grammy Awards - who recently filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer.

In her 46-page legal complaint, she alleged sexual misconduct, gender discrimination, and corruption in the Academy.

Amid the ongoing controversy, Alicia expressed her desire for change - but she also insisted that the Grammys should be used to shine a light on the power and influence of music.

The New York-born singer explained: "Tonight we want to celebrate the people, the artists who put themselves on the line."

Hailing the likes of Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Ariana Grande, Alicia added: "You see us. We're unstoppable. Celebrating the music, because I know how much Kobe [Bryant, who passed away on Sunday] loved music. So we've got to make this a celebration in his honour. He would want us to keep the vibrations hot."

Alicia also insisted she was determined the "bad guys" wouldn't win.

She said: "We unite in spite of what went on this week. Music changes the world. It's when people do nothing that the bad guys win."