Keep a Child Alive (KCA), an organization co-founded by singer-songwriter Alicia Keys to provide life-saving anti-retroviral treatment, care, and support services to children and families whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India, on October 15 hosted a star-studded event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, to celebrate highly influential humanitarian work.
Among honorees at the 6th Black Ball benefit were President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson. President Clinton received the honor for his humanitarian work with the William J. Clinton Foundation and The Clinton Global Initiative; and Sir Branson for his efforts to promote sustainable change through Virgin Unite.
Also honored was a true son of Africa, legendary Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour for his tireless efforts in promoting health and well-being of people in Africa. N’Dour was among artists to perform at the event that united celebrity and philanthropy, creating an vibrant spirit of HOPE and commitment to worthy causes and human development.
Having spent seven years in The Gambia, a country bordered to the north, east and south by Senegal, little did I know I would entrench myself into the Senegal-Gambia culture of music, dance, and language (I learned a local language – Wollof). Both countries share similar culture. Although my seven years in The Gambia was spent as a refugee, I grew to love the music so much, N’dour being one of my favorite artists – and his humanitarian work around Africa also serving as an inspiration.
Among others to have performed at The Black Ball were Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, and John Mayer. Other
celebrities at the event included Nick Cannon, Mary J. Blige, Samuel L. Jackson, Adrian Grenier, Tyson Beckford, Gabriel Aubry and Halle Berry.
“When I tell u BLACK BALL was UNBELIEVABLE I’m TELLING YOU! Unforgettable!!” read one of Alicia Keys’ tweets on her Twitter page on October 16.
Keys’ next album titled The Element of Freedom is due December 1.
The annual Black Ball both raises funds for KCA and recognizes the work of influential humanitarians, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and politicians to better the world.
For more information about Keep a Child Alive and The Black Ball, visit keepachildalive.org
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