Early Tuesday morning (November 24), [artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys[/artist] braved the 49-degree weather to greet fans and perform a three-song set on the "Today" show. The singer's stop at the morning talk show was another mark leading up to the release of her next album, The Element of Freedom, which hits stores on December 15.
After dozens of pairs of free "Today" gloves were handed out to the audience, Alicia Keys walked onstage to a roar of applause.
Wearing her shoulder-length hair loose and dressed in a turquoise leather jacket with gold studs, the singer started off her set with "No One" from her last album, As I Am. Keys proceeded with her current single, "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart," pacing the stage until she sat at the piano for the song's bridge.
"We're in the perfect place, in the perfect city, so we need to sing it like this," Keys said while beginning the last song of the mini-concert, "Empire State of Mind, Part 2," a piano-driven sequel to her collaboration with [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist]. Keys displayed her piano skills with a simple outro that accompanied the backup singers' consistent crooning. A rep for Keys recently confirmed to MTV News that the song will include a new verse from Jay-Z and be featured on the singer's forthcoming album.
When "Today" host Meredith Vieira asked the singer how the making of this album changed her as an artist, Keys made note that the result was her best effort yet.
"I think with experience, you get a little more balance, and I learned the balance of being able to create, being able to have time with my family, being able to really experience life and that made for the best music so far," she said.
But while Keys is focused on her career, she said she's also devoted to the Keep a Child Alive program, which supports the treatment for HIV/AIDS for children in Africa. Keys will continue to raise money for the cause by performing a special concert at the Nokia Theatre in New York on December 1, during which she'll make "a very special announcement" that will change five people's lives.