Alicia Keys paid tribute to record executive Clive Davis at her charity’s annual black-tie event. Davis, who signed Keys more than 15 years ago, received the Humanitarian award at the 13th annual Black Ball on Oct. 19 in New York. The event is an extension of Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive, which launched in 2003 and supports HIV and AIDS victims in Africa and India.
The Black Ball raises funds to help Keep a Child Alive provide treatment and care for children, youth and families living with and affected by HIV in Africa and India. This year’s theme — “Afrofuturism” — focused on the ingenuity, creativity and talent of Africa’s entrepreneurs, artists, designers, musicians and activists.
Patti Smith and A$AP Rocky performed at the event at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Co-founded in 2003 by Keys and AIDS activist Leigh Blake, KCA is headed by CEO Peter Twyman. To date, the organization’s Black Ball has raised more than $24.9 million. Past performers who have joined Keys onstage include Adele, Jay Z, Carole King, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams.
Keys said she honored the 84-year-old Davis “for his long-standing commitment in the fight against AIDS.” Davis is credited with launching the careers of Whitney Houston, Keys, Smith and Barry Manilow. He also helped engineer the comebacks of Aretha Franklin and Carlos Santana.
According to the Keep a Child Alive website, the event raised nearly $3.8 million during their 2015 event, which featured performances by Keys, Wale, Lenny Kravitz and LION BABE.
“Their future is bright,” says Keys. “But with 25 million people currently living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, we need to get AIDS out of the picture once and for all for Africa to reach their full potential.”
Among honorees previously saluted for their humanitarian efforts are President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson and Bono. Presenting partners for the 2015 KCA Black Ball (keepachildalive.org) include the Jynwel Charitable Foundation Limited, Microsoft, Givenchy Parfums and Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits.