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Alicia Key’s Passion to Keep a Child Alive


Alicia Keys, the Grammy winning global sensation, was proud to show off signs of her advancing pregnancy at the Keep a Child Alive fundraiser in New York City recently. Married to rapper and producer Swizz Beatz, the artist’s passion for children led her to co-found the charity after seeing the devastating impact of the AIDS virus on Africa’s children. Keys says the most important contribution she can make to her future child is the example of her own life.

by Todd McFliker

Alicia Keys, 27, and her husband, rapper and producer Swizz Beatz, 32, were proud to show off Mommy’s pregnant belly at the Keep a Child Alive fundraiser in New York City recently. This will be the Grammy Award winning artist’s first child. And she recognizes that the most important contribution to her child will be the example of her own life.

“The baby is going to see everything that I do, and that we do,” Keys explained to OK! magazine.  “Reaching out to one person in the world is changing that one person in the world and that’s a big deal. I plan to show that in every way.”

In May, Keys and Beatz announced they were engaged and expecting.  The pair married on the French island of Corsica in July.  Beatz’s 9-year-old son, Prince Nasir Dean, served as Best Man. The celebrity list of wedding guests included Bono and Queen Latifah.

On top of her eleven Grammy Awards, Keys became the first female R&B artist to have three consecutive #1 debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart.  In addition to being a prolific artist, Keys is also a devoted AIDS activist and philanthropist.

Keep a Child Alive (KCA), the program Keys co-founded, provides medicine for underprivileged children with AIDS.  KCA “is all about providing the medicine for children and families who have AIDS and can’t afford it,” she said.  “To be able to buy life, you’re literally saving a life.”

During Key’s first trip to Africa in 2003, she witnessed firsthand the drastic impact AIDS has on the continent’s children.  Ever since, Keys, along with Leigh Blake, has been the driving force behind KCA.  Similar to Bono, the celebrity has used her voice to help KCA raise millions to care for AIDS patients.  Her work includes the popular “Spirit of a Child” campaign and the star-studded “I am African,” featuring David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, Richard Gere and Gwyneth Paltrow.

KCA is the first charity to have successfully implemented an ongoing texting campaign in the United States, thanks to Keys introducing the campaign on her 2008 concert tour.  The same year, she was also a producer of the documentary film Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland, about Africa’s AIDS pandemic.  Besides the Oprah talk show, Keys has appeared on American Idol, inspiring thousands of viewers to assist the foundation.

“Helping keep a child, or mother, or father or brother or sister alive means turning the worst epidemic of our lifetime into the greatest victory of our generation,” she said.

With her delivery date fast approaching, Keys will soon have the opportunity to experience her love and devotion for children firsthand.

Click here to watch Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland on YouTube.