The multiple Grammy winner is the first female to become a Hennessy Paradis brand partner.
Elizabeth Olsen, Alicia Keys and Gabrielle Union
Some events remain in the realm of dreams: playing a round at Pebble Beach with Tiger Woods, sitting for a photo session with Annie Leibovitz, watching Brad Pitt blaze through a scene on the set of a blockbuster film.
How about a starry, starry night concert for 40 people by Alicia Keys in Joshua Tree National Park’s Kellogg Doolittle House?
The exclusive event was hosted at the Kellogg Doolittle House.
I checked that one off my you-gotta-be-kidding-me bucket list.
Last week, I was among the lucky few who witnessed Keys’ voice rise from a mini stage and roll into the rocky canyon for pitch-perfect acoustics. Almost on cue, a nearly full moon climbed the sky as the Grammy winner sang hits like “No One,” “Girl on Fire” and “New York Empire State of Mind.”
It was a setting like no other to introduce the singer’s new partnership with Hennessy Paradis.
Also in attendance were notables like Hennessy CEO Laurent Boillot, actors Elizabeth Olsen, Gabrielle Union, Sofia Boutella and Adam DiMarco, supermodel Stella Maxwell and multidisciplinary artist Moses Sumney. Keys’ hubby, Swizz Beatz, also was on hand.
Keys and Hennessy CEO Laurent Boillot
The evening also marked the kickoff of the “Paradis(e) Is On Earth” campaign, where Keys teams up with internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang. It’s visually stunning—filmed at Utah’s Paradise Canyon—with both artists, back to back, playing pianos. Keys wrote the poem for the spot’s voiceover.
"It’s an honor and privilege to be a partner with Hennessy,” Keys told me during a post-show dinner.
When I asked her how she kept her fingers moving on the piano keys once the desert air turned chilly, she laughed and said, “I’m telling you, it wasn’t easy! But I love playing, and the audience was so kind.” Kind, yes, and most of us were lost in a musical dream.
Boillot and Swizz Beatz
Hennessy Paradis was created by Maurice Fillioux in 1979 as a tribute to symphonic music. The French cognac is created from 100 eaux-de-vie aged for up to 130 years. The exceptional liquid, held in a hand-shaped bottle, offers notes of rose petals, honey, cardamon and dried fruit.