The Black Ball!! Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive Celebrates 11th Anniversary

aliciakeysAlicia was the belle of the ball at her annual gala to raise money for her Keep a Child Alive org that provides HIV treatments and support services to families affected in Africa.

How adorbz is the cute PDA between Alicia and Swizz on the black carpet?

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Diddy and Alicia’s hubby Swizz Beatz co-hosted the event held at the Hammerstein Ballroom,in NYC last night.

Diddy and Swizz Beatz (don’t they look like dapper dons?) brought out Kanye West to introduce participants at the Black Ball’s opening.

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Madge cuddled with the guest of honor at the fundraiser and took selfies with Mr. West.

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The event drew in leggy beauties Joan Smalls, Alek Wek and Selita Ebanks, making it a model affair. And where there are models…

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…that’s where music mogul Russell Simmons’ will be. Joined by niece Angela Simmons and Lala Anthony, Russell took video of Diddy and Nas rocking the stage with “You Can Hate Me Now.”

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But it looks like the real showstopper was  Alicia’s performance of  “Empire State,” seeing how they were in the Big Apple.

And backed up Nas for his “If I Ruled the World” performance at the ball.

Rounding out the ball bashers are Estelle and “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi.

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And living legend Aretha Franklin graced A.K with her presence.

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No official word on how much the affair raised, but got a very generous donation of $200K during the night. If I was a betting woman I’d say they took in at least $1 or $2 milly for the cause.

Good work, Ms. Keys. I’m sure the preggo glow worked wonders on those with deep pockets.

MODEL EFFECT: Jourdan Dunn Named Ambassador for Sickle Cell Association

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It’s sickle cell awareness month and to raise awareness for this overlooked disease–that more of us suffer from than you think–we’re highlighting a model spokesperson. No, literally!! Jourdan Dunn was tapped by Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to be their ambassador.

What does the gorg supermodel that slays fashion runways and a Beyoncé vid have in common with a debilitating illness affecting red blood cells?

To erase those thought bubbles from your head, here are a few good reasons Jourdan Dunn wasn’t just a pretty face for the Association: She tells Vogue she carries the sickle cell gene and passed it onto her four-year-old son, Riley.

jdunnandsonShe knew he would get the illness but still was heartbroken when she received the diagnosis. But swallowed her guilt and put on her brave face to deal with the reality.

Now she’s educating others through her Cell for Gratitude charity initiative. She already put her fashion skills to good use by designing a cell necklace in which proceeds go to the Association.

dunnandfriendsAnd rallied famous friends–Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne–to her “Cell for Gratitude” launch during New York Fashion Week.

I don’t want people to feel sorry for my son or me. I’m not ashamed about sickle cell anemia. I want to talk about it because there are a lot of people in the industry who have sickle cell or who have a family member that has it, but they don’t talk about it. Many others don’t know if they even carry the gene.

Unlike normal blood cells that are round, those with sickle cells are oval shaped. And when the blood cells are clogged–due to infection or body temp changes–it triggers unbearable pain.

Jourdan says her goal as Association ambassador is to brush off the shame of the illness and get people talking.

I want people who have it to speak up because sickle cell anemia isn’t something to be ashamed of. There are other people dealing with it, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye.

For those itching to contribute to this under-the-radar cause blood donations are greatly appreciated. To see if you qualify to give, click here

To read a full version of the Vogue article click here