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December 7, 2011 / charityprofiles

Alicia Keys: Musician, Philanthropist

American soul singer Alicia Keys is a highly awarded musician in the industry today. But before she became a successful soul singer, she was just an ordinary young girl with an extraordinary talent. Keys was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City and learned how to play classical music on the piano at the age of seven. Her single mother, seeing that her daughter’s talent is exceptional, enrolled her at the Professional Performing Arts School. She graduated at the age of 16 as valedictorian and later attended Columbia University. When an opportunity to become an artist knocked on her door, she quit school made history as an R&B recording artist.

Keys decided to give back to the community at the height of her success. She became the ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, which is dedicated to providing life-saving AIDS treatment, care, nutrition, and other support services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. As the ambassador, she directly engages with  the global public about the fight against AIDS.

Keys also became involved in a campaign to raise more than $1 million during the annual Black New York charity event. In 2010, the work involved getting the participation of other celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Katie Holmes, Justine Timberlake and Kanye West. All of them also modeled for advertising campaigns placed in magazines, the Internet, and local community spots. It is interesting to note that Keys served as the musical director for the 2006 Charity Gala of the same organization. After the gala, she offered a private concert as a prize in an auction; the proceeds of which were donated to the charity.

Alicia Keys is an active support of other causes apart from AIDS awareness. Frum Tha Ground Up, a charity that aims to inspire and motivate young Americans to achieve success, is one of her personal benefactors. Keys believes that her stature as a Grammy-award winning musician will encourage other kids to pursue their dreams – the same way she pursued hers.

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