Alicia Keys' Black Ball Redux gala last night raised $2.9 million for her charity Keep a Child Alive, The Associated Press reports. Keys got a big assist from pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr, who pledged $1 million to the charity, which helps those affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. The event was originally schedule for November 1st, but Hurricane Sandy forced a change of plans.
"There are places in the world where Keep a Child Alive serves where they have a Hurricane Sandy every day," said Keys. "They don't have electricity, they don't have heat . . . and that made me more invigorated to make sure this Black Ball happened." The singer also honored Oprah Winfrey, particularly for the the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. "You try to keep a child alive and I try to educate them as best as I can," Winfrey told Keys onstage.