Saturday, July 12, 2008


Saints and apostles backing up from behind

Two of my favourite ladies of music were in London together a couple nights ago to continue the good, hard work of raising awareness and funds for children with AIDS in Africa.

#1: The legendary Annie Lennox...

And, #2: The amazing Alicia Keys...

So, with hands that normally play the piano or hold a microphone, Alicia Keys and Annie Lennox each gave a helping hand to raise $700,000 at the UK's first "Black Ball"! Here's the story from People magazine:

Alicia Keys raised nearly $700,000 hosting Thursday's night's first U.K."Black Ball," a star-packed London fund-raiser to benefit children with AIDS in Africa.

"Our main goal is that for [one dollar] a day we can provide the medicine and care to keep children alive," said the R&Bsinger, 28, a co-founder of the Keep A Child Alive foundation.

Keys, who's touring Europe this summer, walked the red carpet with her brother Cole,and told reporters: "I'm definitely excited about bringing the one and only Annie Lennox on stage with me. It's going to be an exclusive, inspirational night."

Photo by: Dave Hogan / Getty; Landov

Initially formed by AIDS activist Leigh Blake in 2003, Keep A Child Alive aims to offer lifesaving anti-retroviral medicine to the children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa as well as support an orphan-care project in India. As Blake told PEOPLE of Keys's involvement, "She is stronger than I am. She e-mails me every single day, she is incredible." Says Jennifer Hudson, 26, who costars with Keys in the upcoming The Secret Life of Bees, "I call Alicia my mentor."

Keys hosted the later part of the event in jeans and a Barack Obama T-shirt as she introduced performers. Lennox received a standing ovation when she did the evening's finale of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" and REM's "Everybody Hurts" with Keys joining in on piano.

Guests included Mischa Barton and Kelly Rowland, who, after dancing up a storm, told PEOPLE the night was "perfect. A moment of true greatness."

Is it just me or does it seem kinda random that Mischa Barton was at this event? I'm not sure why she's been London these days, but hopefully it means there's no more of this to worry about. But, hey, if this means she's focusing her time and attention on things that matter, then more power to her I say!

Annie Lennox has long been involved in the AIDS cause across Africa. Last December 1st, on International AIDS Day (which also just so happens to be my birthday), her single "Sing" was released of her latest album "Songs of Mass Destruction". Proceeds from the single went to the HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness program, Treatment Action Campaign.

The song was a collaboration with TONS of cool female singers like Madonna, Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Fergie, kd lang, Joss Stone, Martha Wainwright and LOTS more. When this single was released, here's what Annie said on her website about all of this:

"Several years ago I personally witnessed Nelson Mandela, standing in front of his former prison cell on Robben Island, addressing the world's press. His message was that the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa was in fact, a genocide. Since that time I resolved to do as much as I can to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS crisis." (Wikipedia)

And I love that Alicia Keys is part of the AIDS awareness efforts, too. Her official website offers a way for fans, or just anyone really, to get involved in the program, Keep A Child Alive, for which she is their global ambassador.

Btw, if you love Alicia Keys' latest album AS I AM as much as I do, you'll be tickled to know that the video for her next single, Superwoman, is getting its exclusive premiere online this Tuesday (July 15). Go here to check it out.

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