It’s not just you: Alicia Keys’ Super Bowl halftime show got changed for YouTube

  • February 13, 2024

A crane shot slowly sweeps down toward a massive, billowing rose-red cape attached to someone playing an equally red grand piano. As the camera closes in on the figure, you realize it’s Alicia Keys, playing the descending triplets that begin “If I Ain’t Got You,” one of her earliest and biggest hits. Her voice, as smooth as ever, eases in with a shortened version of the hums that begin the original recording, then she starts belting out the chorus lyrics… and her voice cracks immediately.

If it was an intentional edit, it was an easy one — tricks like cutting out bits of audio and lengthening a nearby note to fill the space are trivial. It’s also not all that unusual — AV Club points out that Jennifer Lopez’ raw 2010 Saturday Night Live performance was altered for a later video upload. It happens elsewhere in entertainment, too, like that disappearing coffee cup in Game of Thrones or just so much of the original Star Wars trilogy, right from the beginning.

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