Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys celebrate the power inside each and every one of us in their new duet “A Beautiful Noise.” The pair debuted the song on Thursday night (Oct. 29), during the Every Vote Counts: A Celebration of Democracy television special.
“I have a voice / Started out as a whisper, turned into a scream / Made a beautiful noise,” are the lyrics that bookend the song, which Carlile and Keys perform on a pair of pianos. “When you’re all alone, it’s a quiet breeze, but when you band together, it’s a choir …”
“A Beautiful Noise” is empowering through and through, reminding listeners about the strength we all have: “It is loud, it is clear / It is stronger than your fear,” they sing.
“I have a voice, and I let it speak for the ones who are aren’t yet really free,” Carlile and Keys continue, calling out the duty we have to stand up for others, especially those who cannot do so themselves. “I will not let silence win … There’s no other choice, ’cause I have a voice.”
Per Variety, “A Beautiful Noise” was co-written not just by Carlile and Keys, but also by fellow country songwriters and artists Brandy Clark, Lori McKenna, Hailey Whitters and Hillary Lindsey, along with the legendary Linda Perry and Ruby Amanfu, one-half of Sam & Ruby, a frequent Jack White collaborator and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. It began as part of a plan from Ali Harnell, president of Live Nation Women, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Harnell explains.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Harnell and her company had to table their original plans for a big event and started talking to some songwriters about putting the song together. They started with Clark, and the group involved grew from there.
“The evolution of “A Beautiful Noise” represents a group of incredible women from all different walks of life coming together with a universal message of hope and empowerment,” Carlile says in a statement. “It is an important reminder that we all have a voice and that our voices count … Alicia lives this song. This is how she walks through the world. I am forever inspired. Please vote.”
Adds Keys, “This song has that special energy that we really need to feel right now. Everyone has the power to make beautiful noise and to lift others up with their voice. And now more than ever, we need to let those voices be heard by voting. I’m so grateful to have joined my sister Brandi Carlile, a beautiful spirit, inspiring artist and incredible person, for this moment.”
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