FGF | Alicia Keys Raises $2 Million for AIDS Research

 

A.K. pulled in some major coin for her 13th annual Keep A Child Alive ball, which provides life-saving medicine to kids in Africa living with HIV/AIDS.

The fresh-faced song bird raised $2 million dollars with Chance the Rapper, Salt-in-Pepa and ASAP Rocky slaying the stage at Hammerstein ballroom.

Clive Davis was the honorary guest. The Sony CEO had some sweet words for the hostess during his speech.

Because she did make it all happen.

And these are the celebs basking in the honor:

Lupita Nyong’go and KCA CEO

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Alek Wek

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Salt-n-Pepa

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Baz Lurhmann, Swizz Beatz, Omari Hardwick and Russell Simmons

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How Beyonce and Nicki Minaj Made Tidal Concert Teaching Moment

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Hey Fam, how many of you were lucky enough to get the golden ticket to the Tidal X: 1015 concert at Barclays last night?

If so, I’m super jelly you got to be in the same room as Common, Alicia Keys, Tip, Lauryn Hill, Emeli Sande, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj as they performed one hit after another for the benefit concert–all proceeds going towards The Robin Hood Foundation that aims to combat impoverished communities, including education.

As you can see I was catching major FOMO. But I had Alec Baldwin on SNL to give me a laugh, and Instagram posts to keep me in the loop on the most lit moments of the Tidal concert.

For me it was the candid non-PC ones. Let’s call ’em teachable moments from our Queens.

Let’s start with our fave demented Barbie: Nicki Minaj. She stormed on the stage with the illest’tude (Was her ex Safaree backstage?) demanding dudes put their egos in check and appreciate what smart women bring to the table.

“If you a champion female in the mutha fuckin’ building, can’t no weak ass mutha fuckin’ clown ass n****s bring you mutha fuckin’ down. Because you n****s so fuckin’ weak.”

Here’s where the Anaconda rapper’s rant  really gains steam.

“You dare be intimidated by a bad mutha fuckin’ queen? Get your feelings mutha fuckin’ feelings hurt. It’s mutha fuckin’ ok because Barack needed a Michelle, bitch and Bill needed a mutha fuckin’ Hillary, bitch.

“You betta pray to God you don’t get stuck with a mutha fuckin Melania. You n****s want brainless bitches?” Nicki added.

 

Yup, she went in.

On another note–after lighting up the stage with her savagery– Beyonce capped off the concert with an impromptu speech about the importance of voting in this joke of a presidential race.

 

Bey makes a convincing case. After all our folk did die for this right. We must exercise it.

So, guys were you entertained and elevated?

 

 

IYB Woman Crush | Woman Creates Safe Haven for Baltimore Kids

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In case you haven’t noticed, news outta B-more has gone from bad to worse this week with one of the cops, who had a hand in Freddie Gray’s murder, was cleared of charges. Yes, yet another one. Lost count? Good thing they are.

Unfortunately no one is keeping a tally on how this is affecting kids and their ability to…I don’t know…be like normal young’uns. Luckily Erika Alston carved out such a safe haven for 100 neighborhood kids between ages 5 to 17.

CBS Evening News reports Alston revamped an old laudromat into an after-school rec center– Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a few days after the riots sparked by Freddie Gray’s murder.

“The whole world got to see our children standing face-to-face with officers, and throwing rocks, and they didn’t have another outlet. We’ve created that outlet.”

The Kids Safe Zone includes homework help, peer support, field trips and a range of recreational activities–from Xbox video games to sports teams–for kids to escape.

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Funding for Safe Zone comes from the state (Maryland’s governor donated $50G’s for the computer lab) and private donations. The center got a big boost when Alicia Keys made a surprise visit in November. Soon after A&E Network donated $30,000, followed by $10,000 from Kaiser-Permenete.

Say it loud: More safe zones and less jail cells. To donate to Ericka’s Safe Zone click here.

 

Monday Memoriam | David Bowie’s Charitable Legacy

 

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Nothing is worse than waking up to bad news. Unless it’s going to sleep with some. Today me and millions of others woke up to news David Bowie died of cancer. RIP David Bowie and condolences to his supermodel wife Iman.

Whether you’re familiar with his music or not (I’m a millenial, what’s your excuse?”) what’s indisputable is his authenticity and creativity to express himself through art. Without even singing a note David Bowie could capture our attention. Could it be the different color eyes? Or was it his chameleon-like personas? Blunt speak? Case in point, watch him call out MTV for their lack of diversity here.

Whatever je na sais quoi he possessed he carried it well. And shared it with those that needed it the most. David Bowie aka David Jones was a huge supporter of Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive org that advocates for children in Africa living with HIV/AIDs.

In 2006, Bowie performed at the Keep a Child Alive fundraiser. Alicia Keys wrote a touching message about David Bowie’s death on her Facebook page today.

Sending prayers and love to my beautiful friend IMAN and her family on this day!

Through all his alter ego’s, David Bowie was one singular thing – a true Artist. He graciously performed 3 songs at Keep a Child Alive’s Black Ball in 2006 and I have never seen an audience so enraptured. Thank you for all the inspiration! Especially the message to all of us to be completely who you are!

“There’s a Starman waiting in the sky. He’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our mind”. – Starman, David Bowie

It was par for the course, as the power couple committed time and money towards HIV/AIDS research. In the early ’90s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, David Bowie and Iman were repeat donors and performers to advocacy orgs like 7th on Sale fundraisers.

Replicating that same level of support to fellow London rock star Paul McCartney at his Concert for New York City in response to September 11th.

Record store Rough Trade announced they will donate all sales from David Bowie’s albums to cancer research in honor of the music legend. Even in his demise he’s helping others.

Check out his last hauntingly beautiful music video below.


Rock on in heaven DB!!

 

VIDEO: Celebs Flock to Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive Black Ball

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Alicia Keys brought her 12th Annual Keep a Child Alive Black Ball in with a bang last night. With help from a zipped up (I won’t let it die) Lenny Kravitz, Wale, Chris Rock and Lion Babe, who each shared a stage with the “Girl on Fire.” If you suffer from FOMO–Fear of Missing Out–like I do. We’ve got you covered. Below are duet snippets from each performance.

First up, Wale performing Lotus Flower Bomb with Alicia

Lenny Kravitz stole the show with “American Woman” while Alicia tickled the ivories

Lion Babe brought all the feels with their rendition of “Tell Me Something Good”

For those not tearing down the Hammerstein Ballroom stage with Alicia. Those lucky enough to be sitting pretty and enjoying the show were.

Swizz Beatz, of course, revving the crowd up with his DJ skills.

KRS-One and Angie Martinez reunited

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Knicks star Carmelo Anthony sans wife Lala but found some friends.

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Soul singer Maxwell, oh how we wish you hijacked the stage with Lenny and Alicia

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KCA global ambassador Padma Lakshmi and Formula 1 race car champion Lewis Hamilton

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Fitness guru Jeanette Jenkins

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Chris Rock, Clive Davis and hubby say cheese with Alicia.

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By far the highlight of the night, notwithstanding performances, was when Alicia Keys–sporting a fierce Jean Paul Gaultier blazer, I might add–announced they raised $1 million for KCA, which means more life-sustaining programs for children affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Additionally, this comes on the heels of the R&B goddess running the NYC marathon in honor of KCA. No one deserves a bigger round of applause.

Bill Clinton, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars Designed Teddy Bears Raise Thousands for HIV/AIDS Non-Profit

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Move over Paddington, Bobbi Bear is taking over and he’s got backup. R&B superstars Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Bruno Mars and Bill Clinton designed their own Build-a-Bear to be auctioned off at the auction house Sotheby’s earlier this month.

The numbers are in and the stars helped raise over $100,000 to benefit Operation Bobbi Bear, a non-profit that caters to sexually abused and exploited kids that may be at risk to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The bear plays a key part in victims describing where they were abused. The non-profit has reportedly saved thousands of children from being victimized by telling their stories.

To learn more about Operation Bobbi Bear click here and to see all the customized teddies click here.

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.