The 12th Annual Black Ball scored big in its fight for HIV/AIDS awareness with great help from a number performers and influencers. The Alicia Keys and Chris Rock-hosted event enlisted top-notch talent like Lenny Kravitz, Wale, Lion Babe and Swizz Beatz to raise $3.8 million for the campaign.
Alicia Keys co-founded the Keep A Child Alive charity in 2003 and has sought to raise global awareness concerning the urgent HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. “Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and a lot of them have no access to treatment. None at all. So everyone needs to come together, and we’ve gotta end this once and for all,” Chris Rock said.
The charity provides financial support to nine grassroots partners in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda who have succumbed to the economic and physical impact of HIV/AIDS, as well as offering programs and services to 300,000 people.
Aside from its year-round efforts, the organization strived to meet its ultimate goal of ending the epidemic by 2030 at the Black Ball with a star-studded guest list. “Tonight is about letting go and feeling good. I need you to just like be free for tonight. We don’t know how may days we have. We can’t count ‘em. We have to live ‘em. We have to make sure everyone has a chance at life,” Keys said of the event. And the night definitely had some feel good moments.
Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz joined forces to perform “Let Love Rule.” Kravitz also performed “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and “American Woman” in a set of his own. Wale and Lion Babe joined in the celebration, performing Alicia Keys’ hit single, “No One.” And Swiss Beatz also supported his wife on the spin tables at the “Afterglow” after party.
Keys told Billboard in an interview that she wants to create a lasting impact to make a difference. “I am hoping people really recognize the power that we have to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “We don’t have to do big things. We can do a series of very small things that change people’s world. Together we can really make big differences in the world.”
Although she speaks of small strides, it appears that the charity function made a big impact for changing “people’s world.”