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Alicia Keys lights up TODAY with hits, 'empowering' take on beauty

Alicia Keys has been capturing our imagination since her 2001 debut album — so we couldn't have asked for a better concert to wrap a bow around summer as Labor Day weekend approaches.

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Alicia Keys on going makeup-free, life: 'I just want to be honest with myself'

Play Video - 4:31

Alicia Keys on going makeup-free, life: 'I just want to be honest with myself'

Play Video - 4:31

Fifteen years (and 15 Grammys) later, she's still making headlines for her music and her principled stands (like going makeup-free while in the public eye).

"You don't wear it [makeup] so well!" quipped TODAY's Savannah Guthrie to her when Keys sat down in the studio before her performance, sans makeup.

Not wearing it, replied Keys, has been "really empowering, really freeing." She noted that "we put so many limitations on ourselves ... in a lot of ways I'm sick of it. I'm over it, to be honest ... It's about being our unique, own selves."

That said, she's not against a little dolling-up. "I love makeup," she said. "I love my lipgloss, I love my blush, I love my eyeliner. ... At the same time, I don't want to feel beholden [to it]."

Then later in the show, she sat down with Tamron Hall, Billy Bush and Al Roker — and inspired everybody to take their own makeup off!

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TODAY's Take anchors to shed their makeup

Play Video - 2:38

TODAY's Take anchors to shed their makeup

Play Video - 2:38

"You don't have to," said Keys. "It's not for me, it's for you!"

"I love the message, I love the idea," said Hall as Keys helped her wipe the makeup aside.

As for her amazing music, Keys said she is working on new material ("it is such powerful music, you are going to go crazy") but largely focused on how good she feels after a decade and a half of success.

"I'm feeling centered, I'm feeling powerful, I'm feeling clear," she said.

And we can tell!

Keys' visit had fans excited:

Keep on tweeting your photos to us with #AliciaKeysTODAY so we can see them!

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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