Some fires just can't be extinguished. The temperature outside of Los Angeles' Staples Centre hovered around the mid-80s for most of the day, but when Alicia Keys took the stage at MTV's 2012 Video Music Awards fans began to really feel the heat.
The Olympic gold-winning gymnasts introduced Keys, who played her piano standing up in front of glowing red amps.
Alicia sang a cappella with her sweet and calming voice sounding as beautiful as she looked in a pewter-coloured top and black form-fitting tights.
"She's just a girl and she's on fire," Alicia sung as the camera cut to her husband Swizz Beatz, who watched from the crowd with the couple's son, Egypt, on his shoulders.
Earlier this week, Alicia released the title track from her upcoming LP in two parts — the softer Girl on Fire (Blue Light) version and the other Inferno mix featuring Nicki Minaj.
In a surprise twist, the stage lights darkened and a spotlight in the crowd shined on the Pink Friday MC who rapped a story about the ghost of Marilyn Monroe while wearing a curly blond wig, spitting: "Spirit of Marilyn callin' me, audibly/ Ballin' she/ Said that she would never leave/ Continue to torture me."
The Young Money rap queen continued to link well-connected bars with her head down before her final line brought everything full circle.
"And I got 'em aggy because I win the gold like Gabby," Minaj rapped, cuing gymnast Gabby Douglas to take the stage doing an array of graceful flips and cartwheels.
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