NEW YORK -- During the auction portion of Alicia Keys’ Black Ball Redux, one man was ready to jump his bid from $100,000 to $250,000 for a trip to South Africa -- if Keys would join him and his friends.
"I’ll go for a little more," Keys said at the Apollo Theater, where her charity’s annual gala was held.
The man -- pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr -- didn’t raise his bid, but he later pledged $1 million to Keep a Child Alive, helping the R&B singer raise more than $1.3 million.
Keys’ charity assists those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
"There are places in the world where Keep a Child Alive serves where they have a Hurricane Sandy every day," Keys said in an interview on the red carpet. "They don’t have electricity, they don’t have heat Š and that made me more invigorated to make sure this Black Ball happened."
Keys honored Oprah Winfrey at the event for the entrepreneur’s philanthropic efforts, including her school, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which launched in 2007.
"It’s a universal truth, Oprah makes change happen," Keys said.
Winfrey said she was honored to receive an award from Keys, and that it confirms she’s "moving in the right direction."