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Alicia Keys Headlines HIV/AIDS Charity Benefit

May 4th, 2011 8:58am EDT

Alicia KeysR&B superstar Alicia Keys helped raise thousands of dollars for an HIV/AIDS charity by headlining a benefit concert in Canada on Tuesday night.

The singer/songwriter was the star performer at the Hope Rising! event in Toronto, held in aid of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports health groups dealing with the disease in Africa.

Rufus Wainwright, K'naan, Angelique Kidjo and Holly Cole also took to the stage, and Keys, who co-founded the Keep a Child Alive organization to provide medicine to families with HIV and AIDS, hopes the gig will help raise awareness of the disease.

She says, "These are human beings. You put these numbers out there - 30 million dead, 33 million-plus infected, 16 million AIDS orphans - these are people, this isn't like some dot on a chart. It's hard. You get these statistics and numbers and you start to lose the soul of what we're really, really talking about."

"I think people get into their head that there's this need and you have to do this grand and huge thing for it to mean something and that's not the case. Even just your constant commitment, however small or big, that is something that is giving life to someone. If it was your brother, or your mother, or your sister, you would say, 'No, I'm not going to allow them to just die.'"

Alicia Keys

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