Alicia Keys Raises Awareness With World AIDS Day Concert
For some artists it'll never just be about their music. Alicia Keys took the stage at New York's Nokia Theatre last night (Dec. 1) and made it clear that she's passionate about raising awareness -- and money -- for the fight against HIV/AIDS, and luckily, part of her charitable efforts include performing her hits for her loyal fans.
Keys started off her set with 'Love Is Blind,' a new song included on her upcoming album 'The Element of Freedom,' due online and in stores Dec. 15, before launching into 'Karma' off her 2003 album 'The Diary of Alicia Keys.'
Before continuing the songstress took some time to talk to the excited crowd. "Today we are celebrating the beauty of us coming together, you know? That's why I'm so glad you're here with me tonight," Keys said before giving the "I don't normally do this ... I'm the girl from the coffee shop" speech that precedes her 2003 hit 'You Don't Know My Name.'
Keys continued to mix things up, performing old gems 'If I Ain't Got You,' 'Superwoman,' 'Fallin',' No One' and 'Diary.' Back-up singer Jermaine Paul joined Keys for 'Diary,' which seemed to be the crowd favorite and highlight of the evening until the finale. She also treated fans to new tracks 'Distance and Time' and new single 'Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart.'
The single was the perfect segue into a speech about the millions of children that go to sleep with a broken heart "because they've been orphaned because of AIDS," Keys said. A number was displayed on the backdrop behind her encouraging everyone to donate $5 to her Keep a Child Alive foundation. She also announced that she's taking five lucky contest winners with her when she returns to Africa. Fans can text "Alive" to 90999 to enter the contest.
Close to an hour in her set, fans prepared for night's special guest. Keys teased, "I think this may be the perfect moment," peaked off stage and sat back at the piano for 'Empire State of Mind, Part 2.' As expected, Jay-Z strolled out once Keys belted 'New York' as the crowd went nuts.
The sold out benefit concert was sponsored by American Express with all proceeds going to the Keep a Child Alive foundation.