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Future Connector: Alicia Keys

November 30th, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Known for her sweet sounding voice and beautiful piano melodies, Alicia Keys is shifting her focus from music to charity in a bid to raise money for AIDS research.

Keys is leading the push behind a new initiative called "Digital Life Sacrifice" which is trying to raise money and awareness for the Keep a Child Alive charity which is linked to World Aids Day on December 1.

The initiative, which already has the backing of others like Usher, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake will see the celebs cease to update their Twitter and Facebook pages until their followers donate a million dollars.

To show that Keys and her celebrity friends are taking the charitable push seriously, they're going to be pictured in coffins to symbolize their 'digital' death.

Here's your chance to quiz Alicia Keys on this important cause.

Please leave your comments for Keys below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

You can also leave your comments by visiting our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CNNconnect.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    Hi I'm from Houston, TX and my question is; do you believe that the spread of HIV and AIDS in third World Countries are due to the lack knowledge, funds, or treatment?

    November 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  2. Ashlee

    I hope they will match donations with their own money. I have lived off of $6,000 per year since i was 16, now im 23 still in the same situation. I have no parents and im trying to finish my B.S. so that I can too make money and give back. I see people in poverty everyday and it's terrible to see. It breaks my heart, I feel blessed that I have as much as I have given my situation.

    ALicia Keys, J.Timberlake, Lady Gaga have so much money it is unbelievable. Instead of buying expensive clothing and living a life of excess they should use their wealth to be even more proactive in this world.
    There are good organizations everywhere that should be helped. That help feed/shelter/take care of people. The AIDS epidemic is tragic and I am happy they are helping, Im just suggesting they broaden their spectrum and only live off of say $1,000,000. per year. (lol. unbelievable, never in my life will I see that kind of money, nor do I need that. But to see it help people less fortunate and unhealthy, now that sounds good:)
    If I knew that the majority of an artists profits went to helping the needy and making this world a better place, I would purchase music more habitually. Instead I see people "so icy" with their bling bling. (can they know for sure that their diamonds are conflict free? Maybe they could boycott blood diamonds by not supporting the industry). Or how about tiger woods? paying $750,000,000. divorce settlement. WHere's is his half going???)

    Try being more humble and giving more of your "hard earned" money to organizations everywhere. Use your celebrity status for more good. your fans can help, but you shouldn't rely solely on them for donations. Most are probably poor like myself. Also, participation and your time is important too.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  3. Vanti

    My name's Vanti and i'm from Namibia, Africa.
    Alicia, how does it feel to be such an inspiration to so many African children? Your humanitarian heart touches these childrens lives in ways that are unimaginable. You trully are a great Person of this earth, as John Legend puts it.

    November 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  4. Jesse

    Its nice to see other causes become commercial. I hope this has the success of Breast Cancer awareness.

    November 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  5. Kelsey Flack

    Hi Alicia, my name is Kelsey Flack. I'm 16 and live in Tampa, Fl. Your my idol and I absolutely love everything you do with KCA. I would like to know if you are planning any more of these creative campaigns like the "Digital Life Sacrafice"? I think it's so nifty how you take things to the next level. Also, did you see Noah again when you went to Africa this past Summer? I was amazed by him when I saw him perform on Tyra! He has INSANE talent! Is there anyway KCA could do a contest like they did earlier this year to go to Africa with you, but maybe teenagers this time? I wanted to go so bad, and then I saw you had to be 18. I think you're an amazing and dedicated superwoman with a BIG heart. Much love :o)

    November 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  6. dsinla

    View the Award winning documentary "House of Numbers" to see why questions about this
    must be raised, and why deeper issues about HIV and AIDS need to be
    discussed. Lives are at risk. This is the first documentary ,with the worlds
    foremost authorities, that highlights the fundamental problems with HIV
    testing, science, and statistics, It sheds new light on a misunderstood
    phenomenon., for which there is still no cure. GO to
    houseofnumbers.com to see the trailer.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  7. Rafi

    It is nice to see that people are trying to raise awareness of different problems around the world. One of the other people asking a question brought up an intresting point. The way to get more people to give is to pledge a match of every dollar spent. It gives people hope and a goal to match. Trust me there are much better things to do than hear what everyone is doing on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, etc. If you and your friends promise to match every dollar raised up to a couple million dollars through this stunt, I will gladly donate. Are you willing to make such a pledge?

    November 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  8. Layla

    Is it me ....or is the answer to this digital death thing so obvious ...why wont they just donate the million instead of holding meaningless details of their life hostage for us to donate our little coins....

    November 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  9. Jon

    Not to undermine the efforts of the celebrities, but it takes the threat of "not updating their Twitter/Facebook status" to raise money for a global cause???

    November 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  10. Will E

    So, these celebs are actually doing less by not updating their Twitter accounts and want us hard working Americans to donate money, I will donate but not cause they stopped tweeting. It's people like Ashlee that are the biggest donators per capita and probably usually gives big tips cause she knows what it's like to work for a living. I think i might just stop using twitter!!

    November 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  11. Daniel Twitterbook

    Stay Dead, don't bother resurrecting yourselves, it will only play into your jesus complexes. They essentially making people pay to follow the lives of formulated mindless popstars, Some might say bullying or extorting money from their so called fans (sources of revenue) until they get their own way. Don't get me wrong, it is for a good cause but seems the wrong way to go about it. People should be boycotting Facebook anyway given that Zuckerberg welcomed George W. Bush with open arms. People should be very wary of that too. Facebook and Twitter – BORING, Try real interaction people instead of pretending to be something your not online, try it in real life, its harder but more rewarding, you will be a real person, not an invention.

    November 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  12. 242 Chick

    Hi Alicia I'm from The Bahamas. You should come to the caribbean and do a concert tour to spread awareness and some appearances at the local schools to talk to the kids. Also visit the AIDs camps and see just how desperate the situation is and how oblivious most locals even are to the means these people live in, in their own society. I think most people are very aware of the epidemic but still believe in the 'it cant happen to me' scenario.

    November 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  13. Courtney

    Hello Alicia im writing this from South Florida. I would like to know if there was any way for other people to become involved with KCA and input some ideas to help raise awareness.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  14. Heath

    These people are all multi millionaires yet they expect Bob the streetcleaner to donate money that he needs so much. What a sick and twisted world this is.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  15. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Alicia and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Alicia on the following questions:

    – How will you Improve Medical Help to the 33.3 million people living with HIV?

    – How will you Improve STOPPING THE AIDS VIRUS in Countries where the AIDS Rate is Extremely High, such as Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe?

    – Why did you named your baby boy Egypt?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011?

    I am awaiting Alicia’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    November 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  16. Steen

    Wow, I think most of you are missing the point. I think the financial crisis we are living in has hurt us so much, that we have become negative in our thinking. We lash out at others, even in the midst of doing good. All of you who are going through a rough time, I pray it gets better. There will be a turn around. Get positive and stay positive.

    This is not about Twitter of any other social media site. The point of the campaign is show how we (and I mean all of us, especially in America) value lives based on the haves, the have not's. The purpose of the social death is to show the world that these individuals value the lives of others as they do themselves. When a celebrity dies, it is all over the news and in some instances, say Michal Jackson for instance, it seems the world stops to morn them. But what about the mother of two in Africa who died of AIDS and left her two children orphans? Or the young man that lives in your neighborhood that just passed from the same disease? You never hear of them. Thus, the purpose of this campaign people; to show that every live has value and that we all need to be concerned about each one.

    Why do we blame artists and celebrities for the fame and fortune we gave them? It was us who gave it to them. They are merely using their platform to get YOU INVOLVED. Bottom line. Yes, they all could donate money, and how do you know they haven't? The goal is to get everyone involved WITH THEM to support AIDS research.

    I love it. I think it is an awesome idea. I totally support it and have joined the cause. Alicia, I hope you raise more than a million. God bless.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  17. Ganjaman

    I was born and brought up in Africa and i have lived my last 22 years in the western world. feeling disgusted about the hypocrisy that exist among people around the world towards important issues about life and wealth, i come to realise that the help people claim that they want to provide to others in need don't get far enough.
    it is time billionaires & millionaires have to focus on their own life's problems. everyone on earth has problems but most of the time, they try to decieve others that poverty is the only problems that ever exist on earth. poverty is a state of mind not problem because money can,t buy life or make life happy & immortal. lets stop decieving one another people . educate or leave those you call poor people alone, aids is man made evil for their fellow human, untill those who made aids that kill their fellow human stop to exist, the world will not be a better place.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:24 am | Reply
  18. LH

    Hi, my name is Li Hua. My questions : what is the best way to find out if the partner is STD carrier in a nice way?

    December 1, 2010 at 1:40 am | Reply
  19. joseph

    it seems like all the celebrities involved in this scam (and i call it that simply because no body who is asked to donate knows how the money will truly be spent) are feeling a bit down about themselves. look, i'm not knocking success, if you've worked hard and made a lot of money, then good for you; i respect that. so why then are you asking people for money? so to make yourself feel good about, well, yourself? i dont agree with that... and the whole ploy, not updating twitter or whatever the hell it is, i mean that just shows you what this world has come to. technology has reached the point of diminishing returns and is now counter productive in society; especially when a person follows another person on twitter.

    December 1, 2010 at 2:12 am | Reply
  20. Egelle Emenike

    Hi Alicia Keys, Compliments of the day to you. I am Egelle Emenike writing from Nigeria.
    Do you truly believe that HIV/AIDS is widely noticed in Africa? Is your focus then for the campaign largely on Africa? Would it be nice then to say that researches being carried out on the cure of HIV/AIDS should be done with the African person living with the syndrome.
    My humble suggestion is, Let the campaign and researches be focused on the African living with HIV/AIDS.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:10 am | Reply
  21. victor nalo

    that's a nice move anyway but i dont like them being pictured in the coffins

    December 1, 2010 at 5:53 am | Reply
  22. Paul Harper from London, England

    Alicia, It's great what your doing ,when I went to south africa to the ghetto's it really opens your eyes – what you see .
    Children who catch HIV and Aids from their Parents , that is cruel and you have to fill sorry for them .
    Lack of knowledge and education -that's the problem ,if they knew how to prevent things from spreading – it would decrease in Numbers.
    But what are the Politians doing ? in there countries -they have the power to stop it .
    There the ones you should wake up and make them listen .
    Good luck and hope you can help these people who are suffering t.
    Do a round a world concert to raise money for them .
    Ask the pope and other reglious Leaders for backing aswell.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:06 am | Reply
  23. Sujan

    How about fans not following the celebrities until they donate 10 million? That sounds easier and faster.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:08 am | Reply
  24. zizou2006

    I always dont understand the reason to as why all of these celebrities start these so called charities for various reasons and then go towards the public and ask for money. It never makes sense since the general public does not have enough money compared to the amount of money all of these celebs has. My Question to Ms. Alicia Keys is "Is this the way celebs like you make your self even more popular ?"

    December 1, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  25. x star x

    die your digital death ..... no one should actually pay to get you to continue feeding us your inane twitters .....

    good cause , arrogant shallow vapid world

    December 1, 2010 at 7:42 am | Reply
  26. Kelly

    Alicia Keys has always been helping and doing her best to help the world. I knew a guy from university that worked with Ms. Keys on a charity foundation, and in my opinion, it seems that she is the type of human being that just wants a better world. I hope this succeeds, and I am going to help out!

    December 1, 2010 at 8:24 am | Reply
  27. ABDUL

    the artists involved in the event are respected and are mostly philantropists. but what i want to point out is the fact that i dont want it to be a replica of the USA /Africa we are the world concert where ,nothing really changed afterwards.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:44 am | Reply
  28. Bile Khalif

    Millions have been raised and spent! another one wont kill...but here is my advise: The amount, whatever it is, 95% be spent on the actual cause! Now a days, the best projects only get 80%!! And please, dont waste time and money with cure(that will come in time) but concentrate on "PREVENTION"!! Thats where we can REALLY save lives!!! Keep it up!

    Working in Lesotho!

    December 1, 2010 at 9:52 am | Reply
  29. Nyee

    Wow, I think most of you are missing the point. I think the financial crisis we are living in has hurt us so much, that we have become negative in our thinking. We lash out at others, even in the midst of doing good. All of you who are going through a rough time, I pray it gets better. There will be a turn around. Get positive and stay positive.

    This is not about Twitter of any other social media site. The point of the campaign is show how we (and I mean all of us, especially in America) value lives based on the haves, the have not's. The purpose of the social death is to show the world that these individuals value the lives of others as they do themselves. When a celebrity dies, it is all over the news and in some instances, say Michal Jackson for instance, it seems the world stops to morn them. But what about the mother of two in Africa who died of AIDS and left her two children orphans? Or the young man that lives in your neighborhood that just passed from the same disease? You never hear of them. Thus, the purpose of this campaign people; to show that every live has value and that we all need to be concerned about each one.

    Why do we blame artists and celebrities for the fame and fortune we gave them? It was us who gave it to them. They are merely using their platform to get YOU INVOLVED. Bottom line. Yes, they all could donate money, and how do you know they haven't? The goal is to get everyone involved WITH THEM to support AIDS research.

    I love it. I think it is an awesome idea. I totally support it and have joined the cause. Alicia, I hope you raise more than a million. God bless.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:13 am | Reply
  30. kdavidson

    I think its fantastic that you and your fellow musicians are using your celebrity status for good causes. Your talent is endless, but how do you find a perfect balance between your music, your family life and your charitable interests, ensuring that you give all of them 100% of your dedication?

    December 1, 2010 at 10:15 am | Reply
  31. GBALA

    I'm writing from nigezie in Nigeria, i just don't think their idea of showing their faces on coffins is worth it at all, who ever feels the cause they are fighting for and is moved would definitely want to donate and more over why don't these celebs, start wit giving out some reasonable amount of their wealth.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:42 am | Reply
  32. Julius

    Thank you keys am writing from Kenya, you have shown the rest of the guys how life is of great importance. I see orphans who are left behind because of their parents dying of HIV aids related illness, they end up being hopeless in life and turn out to be practicing some vises in the society like thuggery and prostitution because they have no option in their life. you are indeed a hero and we celebrate you.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:09 am | Reply
  33. Liam

    AIDS was seen as so 1980’s yet we are still in the same position now as we where back then. Why do you think we are still blasé about AIDS and HIV?

    December 1, 2010 at 11:21 am | Reply
  34. Robert Busuulwa

    Hi Alicia, you are one of the people i wanna look at any time . Iam from Uganda and thank you so much for the good world you are doing for children there . we love you and appreciate very much.how can i donate to ur charlity i dont have alot but try my best to make the world a better place to live.May GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BABAY BOY .
    ROBERT

    December 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  35. Dana

    How did you/y'all come up with this amazing campaign? What an incredible way to use mobile and social technology.

    Baltimore, MD

    December 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply

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