For Alicia Keys, one star-studded night could change the world.
The singer played host Thursday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom at her sixth annual Black Ball, which benefits the AIDS organization Keep a Child Alive.
Change is a thematic reference in all of Keys’ recent projects. Her next album, due Dec. 1, is titled The Element of Freedom, and she recently set up AK Worldwide, a company to handle her philanthropic affairs.
But the Black Ball is “something I build up to for the entire year,” Keys said backstage before the festivities. “I’m in the middle of finishing my album because you know it comes out on World AIDS Day, which is very intentional for me.”
Event co-host Padma Lakshmi, in a long red Gucci dress, arrived boasting her own change — a pregnant belly.
“I look both ways before I cross the street now,” the Top Chef host said with a laugh. “I’m not a mommy yet. I’m a mommy-to-be so I’m learning all about it. I’m reading voraciously on the subject. It’s very early days.”