Twelve-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys appeared last night on Fox’s American Idol as part of a massive initiative called the Text ‘ALIVE’ Challenge, which aims to provide lifesaving medicine and care to children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
The campaign is being organized by Keep A Child Alive (KCA), the non-profit organization for which Keys serves as Co-Founder and Global Ambassador. As part of Keys’ appearance, she asked the millions of “American Idol” viewers to text the word ‘ALIVE’ to 90999 to make a $5 donation. The Text ‘ALIVE’ Challenge aims to generate millions of new texts that will provide lifesaving care through KCA’s beneficiary sites in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and India.
Keys explained that the Text ‘ALIVE’ Challenge will not only benefit Keep a Child Alive’s beneficiaries, but introduce millions of new donors to the rewards of charitable giving.
“No matter how much or how little we each have, when we pull together we have the power to change the world,” says Keys. “That’s the beauty of Keep A Child Alive and the Text ‘ALIVE’ Challenge – it only costs $5 to help save a life by texting the word ‘ALIVE’ to 90999.”
Keys also introduced a performance by 15-year-old Rwandan rapper, Noah, who is a patient at the KCA-funded clinic in Kigali, Rwanda. KCA Co-Founder and music industry veteran Leigh Blake first met Noah during a visit to the clinic and after hearing him perform, invited him to appear at KCA’s annual fundraiser in New York City, the Black Ball.
Blake describes her first meeting with Noah, “Here he was in the slums of Kigali with so little access to popular culture, really almost none at all. But as soon as he started rapping, I saw he had it – the talent and the intensity was in him – and I knew I had to find a way make his dream to record an album come true.”
Simon Fuller, creator and Executive Producer of American Idol was being honored that night by KCA for his extraordinary charitable contributions via “Idol Gives Back.” He couldn’t forget Noah’s courage and dedicated himself to making Noah’s dream come true.
Through his music, Noah hopes to transform not only his life and the lives of his family, but the futures of millions of people living with HIV. Noah performed “The World’s Greatest,” written by R. Kelly and produced by Swizz Beatz. The song is currently available for download from Apple iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting Keep A Child Alive.
The Text ‘ALIVE’ Challenge is a first for American Idol and a departure from traditional fundraising methods. Viewers are able to respond to Keys’ call to action by using their mobile phones to give $5 simply by texting the word “ALIVE” to 90999. Seconds after texting, they will receive a message back asking for confirmation. Mobile donors confirm by replying “YES” via text message, and the $5 donation is added to their next mobile phone bill. The mobile giving campaign is powered by mGive, founded by wireless pioneer James Eberhard.