The 'Girl on Fire' songstress reflected on the 'painful' loss of Kobe Bryant and her tribute to him during Sunday's big show.
Keys returned to emcee music's biggest night for the second year in a row, and found herself with the unenviable job of opening the ceremony under the heavy shadow of Kobe Bryant's tragic death.
Speaking with ET's Kevin Frazier backstage after the show, Keys reflected on how she managed to address the shocking, heartbreaking turn of events with grace.
"This was a really hard night, and that's why I think it was a roller coaster," Keys shared. "It was painful, it's painful right now. We lost a beloved, beloved hero to all of us. A person who is like a true example of brilliance and excellence."
"It's not easy to go forward with all of that weight," she admitted. "But I think that the energy that he always brought and that fighting spirit... is what brought us through tonight."
The "Girl on Fire" singer opened the show with a touching musical tribute to the NBA icon -- who along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.
Keys was joined by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men for a powerful and meaningful performance of their 1991 hit, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," that honored Bryant's memory and reflected the emotions of nearly everyone in the audience.
"I feel like he was just in all of our hearts and spirits and that's what made it feel good," Keys explained after the show.
The songstress was joined backstage by her children and her husband, DJ and producer Swizz Beatz, and he had nothing but admiration for how his wife handled her difficult responsibility.
"This was a heavy night and she put the load on her shoulders and made people feel comfortable all around the world," he marveled. "It's a blessing."
After Keys hosted the GRAMMYs in 2019, she said she would only be doing so once, so it was a surprise when she agreed to host again this time around. Now, Keys isn't being quite as quick to say she won't come back for a third outing.
When asked if she'd consider hosting in 2021, Keys played coy, and simply explained, "I'm gonna leave that one unanswered."
Be sure to tune in to ET on Monday for more 2020 GRAMMYs coverage. Check here for local listings and times.
Watch the video below for a look at how the GRAMMYs paid tribute to Bryant throughout Sunday's emotional show.
2020 GRAMMYs 'In Memoriam' Honors Stars We Lost This Year Amid Tributes to Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle