LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

NEW YORK -- During the auction portion of Alicia Keys' Black BallRedux, one man was ready to jump his bid from $100,000 to $250,000 for atrip to South Africa - if Keys would join him and his friends.

"I'll go for a little more," Keys said Thursday night at the Apollo Theater, where her charity's annual gala was held.

Theman - pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr - didn't raise his bid,but he later pledged $1 million to Keep a Child Alive, helping theR&B singer raise more than $1.3 million.

Keys' charity assiststhose affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Thursday's event wasoriginally planned for Nov. 1, but was canceled due to Superstorm Sandy.

"Thereare places in the world where Keep a Child Alive serves where they havea Hurricane Sandy every day," Keys said in an interview on the redcarpet. "They don't have electricity, they don't have heat ... and thatmade me more invigorated to make sure this Black Ball happened."

Keyshonored Oprah Winfrey at the event for the entrepreneur's philanthropicefforts, including her school, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy forGirls in South Africa, which launched in 2007.

"It's a universal truth, Oprah makes change happen," Keys said.

Winfrey said she was honored to receive an award from Keys, and that it confirms she's "moving in the right direction."

"You try to keep a child alive and I try to educate them as best as I can," Winfrey said onstage.

Beforethat, a video played onscreen detailing the launch of Winfrey's schooland how the mogul struggled in her early years, riding on a bus withmaids from the inner city to the suburbs to attend a better high school.

"WhenI look at Africans girls I see myself," 58-year-old Winfrey said. "Icontinue to work for them to have the same opportunities that I have. "

Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo was also honored and she joined Keys onstage for some upbeat, drum-filled numbers.

BonnieRaitt also performed, as she and Keys sang a duet version of her slowgroove "I Just Can't Make You Love Me." Keys said it was "one of mydreams to sing" with Raitt.

Jennifer Hudson and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes also hit the stage, where Whoopi Goldberg worked as the night's emcee.

"I read '50 Shades of Grey' so I stay away from paddles," Goldberg said when the auction began.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE