[artist id=”1269″]Jay-Z[/artist] flew across the Atlantic to perform in Berlin at MTV’s Europe Music Awards on Thursday night (November 5) and brought New York City with him. In a hard-charging performance, the rapper stood in front of a cityscape and busted out “Empire State of Mind.”
He must have taken a few cues from his Video Music Award performance this September at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, where he also used scenes from New York as his backdrop. This time in Germany, backed by a live band, Jay took his hometown pride rather seriously: Wearing all black and sunglasses, he rocked the room with his ode to New York as the city skyline swirled behind him.
Alicia Keys didn’t make the trip, but stepping in to sing her vocals on the track was Bridget Kelly, one of Jay’s backup singers who has replaced Keys before in live performances.
Before taking the stage to perform, Jay nabbed the Best Urban award, beating out T.I., Kanye West, Eminem and Ciara. Stepping up to the podium to accept the award, Jay said, “I thank you for this award. I look forward to the day — because it’s called the Best Urban Artist — I look forward to the day when all those walls come down and it’s just music. I go in the studio just like the Jonas Brothers, just like Green Day, and we all just make music. We are all just artists at the end of the day.”