Keep a Child Alive celebrated 13 years last night by hosting their annual Black Ball in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
For this year’s Black Ball, which is a fundraiser for the Keep a Child alive organization, the theme was 80’s pop and hip hop music in which Salt- N-Pepa hit the stage to perform their hit “Push It” along with some of their other classic hits like “Let’s Talk About Sex” and ‘What a Man.”
Peter Twyman, CEO of Keep A Child Alive spoke to The Knockturnal before the event about the reason behind this year’s 80’s theme, “We decided to use the 80’s theme now because we want evoke the spirit of AIDS activism from the eighties ACT Up and all those other really great groups that got us where we are. But we’re at this turning point where everyone kind if thinks that AIDS is over but it’s not. We’re only halfway there. Only half of children who needed HIV treatment in the world are getting it and AIDS is the number one killer of adolescents in Sub Sahara in Africa. So we’re evoking the spirit of AIDS activism from the 80’s to get the job done.”
Helping to provide visuals to keep in line with the 80’s theme British visual artist Shantell Martin was on hand contributing to the decor to reflect the message of the night and representing the ideals of Keep A Child Alive.
This year’s Black Ball was lived stream on Tidal for the first time. Besides Salt n Pepa’s performance, Chance the Rapper performed “No Problem.” A$AP Rocky joined Keep A Child Alive co-founder Alicia Keys onstage to perform their new song “Blended Family (What You Do For Love)”. Keys also performed other songs from her upcoming album Here as well as her signature songs “Fallin'” and ‘No One.” Patti Smith gave the last performance of the night with a rendition of “Because the Night.”
Clive Davis was honored during the ball with KCA’s Humanitarian Award for his ongoing commitment in the fight against AIDS. Other guests included Lupita Nyong’o, Padma Lakshmi, Russell Simmons, Swizz Beatz, Baz Luhrmann, Grandmaster Flash, Omari Harwick, Jeanette Jenkins, Naturi Naughton, Angie Martinez, Alec Wek, Joel Schumacher, Claude Kelly, Elaine Welteroth, Jillian Hervey, Genevieve Barker, Shanina Shaik, Shameik Moore, Mr. Brainwash, Josephine Skriver, Joanna Coles,Ty Hunter, and Mashonda Tifrere.
In speaking with Mashonda who is apart of Keys’ and Swizz Beatz family about why being at Black Ball is special to her she said, “The cause is amazing. What it stands for and the people that come out to support it is always exciting. She always gets an amazing group of people.” Tifrere also mentioned we can expect a book from her soon. “I’m working on a book right now that will be out next year. It’s called Blend My Modern Family and it’s about my family. Blending my child with the other children that are all included in everything in my life right now. So it’s definitely gonna help the world. My goal is to help make the world a better place with this book.”
KCA and its partners are currently reaching over 82,000 people annually, and raised $2 million at this year’s Black Ball.
Photo Credit: Getty Images