Alicia Keys asks `Idol fans to text for charity 2009: Los Angeles

Alicia Keys asks `Idol fans to text for charity

LOS ANGELES (AP) &mdash Alicia Keys wants $5 from every "American Idol" fan.

The Grammy-winning singer appeared on the hit Fox show Wednesday to urge viewers to support the Text ALIVE Challenge, which aims to bring medicine and medical care to children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Keys asked fans to text the word "alive" to 90999 to donate $5 to Keep a Child Alive, the charity she co-founded and for which she serves as global ambassador. She also introduced a beneficiary of the charity, 15-year-old Rwandan rapper Noah, who performed on the show. Keys began the Text ALIVE Challenge while touring with her latest album, "As I Am." "It was really the first time anything like that had been done," Keys said in an interview Wednesday. "It was successful enough to encourage us to keep spreading the word in a forum like this." The seeds of her "Idol" appearance were planted last year at Keys' annual charity gala, the Black Ball, where "Idol" creator Simon Fuller was honored. Noah performed at the event, and Fuller "was so taken by his story" that he invited Noah to appear on the hit show, Keys said. His appearance with Keys also re-introduces a charitable element to the show. Its annual fundraising program, "Idol Gives Back," was canceled in December. Last year's broadcast raised more than $64 million and featured an all-star lineup including Bono, Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus.

"This was kind of a way to keep a give-back element in effect and for Noah to be seen and heard," Keys said, adding that the teen entertainer sings about the AIDS pandemic and life in Rwanda.

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