Jay-Z Wasn’t Feeling Original ‘Empire State Of Mind’ Vocals, Says Alicia Keys

Jay-Z Wasn’t Feeling Original ‘Empire State Of Mind’ Vocals, Says Alicia Keys

Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys has reportedly let the cat out of the bag on her 2009 “Empire State of Mind” collaboration alongside rap star Jay-Z and admitted he requested she re-do her vocals.

Despite their initial rough beginning, Keys met Young Hov’s request and helped create a Big Apple classic.

Jay-Z’s a perfectionist. Just ask Alicia Keys. As part of an episode of VH1 Storytellers, the New York-bred songbird recently shared details on her recording session for Hov’s “Empire State of Mind.” The God MC asked Alicia to guest on the song, but apparently wasn’t satisfied with the first version she submitted. To let Alicia tell it, she was congested during the first recording and Hov reached out and asked her to re-cut her vocals. Keys jokingly told the audience attending the taping at NYC’s Metropolis Studios last night (September 13) that she was bothered by Jigga Man’s request. In the end, a classic was born. “Empire State of Mind” earned Jay his first No. 1 single as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It looks like Jay was onto something. (XXL Mag)

Recent reports revealed “Empire State of Mind” is the highest-selling single of all time.

Music superstars Jay-Z and Alicia Keys have just surpassed the 5 million mark in digital sales for their collaboration single ‘Empire State Of Mind.’ When Roc Nation head honcho Jay-Z teamed up with singing sensation Alicia Keys to drop their collaboration single ‘Empire State Of Mind’ back in October of 2009, fans everywhere already knew the song would be a massive hit. What many didn’t guess is that it would become the highest selling single of all time for both of the well accomplished music veterans. Today the duo’s track surpassed 5 million digital sales, and marks the first time either artist has reached the coveted 5x platinum mark for any of their singles. (The Versed)

Jay’s second best seller is his mid-2000’s “Umbrella” collaboration with Rihanna.

“Empire State Of Mind” by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys tops the 5 million mark in digital sales this week. It’s the biggest-selling hit for both artists. Jay-Z’s second best-seller is Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” on which he was featured, which has sold 4,089,000 copies. Keys’ second-best-seller is “No One,” which has sold 3,705,000 copies. (Yahoo News)

Back in 2010, rap veteran Nas expressed his thoughts on Jay’s “Empire” smash.

“It’s just keeping that whole thing alive — this New York thing,” Nas said in an interview. “There are a lot of people complaining about New York hip-hop, about it not being what it was, and he stood up and now we have another anthem to be proud of…I think [Jay-Z] pretty much handled it. Of course, I’m always gonna talk about New York — it’s the greatest city in the world. But I’m not in the studio making a New York record now to one up anybody, no.” (Wall Street Journal)

Check out the “Empire State of Mind” music video below:

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