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Alicia Keys goes makeup-free at 2016 MTV VMAs

The singer was on hand to present the Best Male Video award.

By Annie Martin
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Alicia Keys goes makeup-free at 2016 MTV VMAs
Alicia Keys at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Alicia Keys went makeup-free at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

The 35-year-old singer stunned without makeup next to husband Swizz Beatz on the awards show red carpet at Madison Square Garden.

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Keys, who wore a red and black Just Cavalli dress, was on hand to present the Best Male Video award. The star paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech before announcing Calvin Harris as the winner.

The "Girl on Fire" singer had promised to "approach [beauty] differently" in an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter in May. She made the decision after an "uncomfortable" but empowering barefaced photo shoot for her forthcoming album.

"Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn't put on makeup," Keys wrote. "I promised I would approach things differently this time regarding my image and allow my real self, as is, to come through."

"I hope to God it's a revolution," she added. "'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."

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Keys has since gone makeup-free in her "In Common" music video, on NBC reality competition The Voice and at the 2016 BET Awards. The star is expected to release her sixth studio album this year.

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