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Jay-Z Didn’t Like Alicia Keys’ Original Vocals on “Empire State of Mind”

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.

VH1 Storytellers starring Alicia Keys is set to air November 12 at 11 p.m. EST on VH1. —Carl Chery (@cchery)

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