Hollywood - Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga take charity work seriously, and they're going off line to prove it.
Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and other celebrities have joined a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice on behalf of Keys' charity, Keep a Child Alive. The entertainers plan to sign off of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, which is World Aids Day.
The participants will sign back on when the charity raises $1 million.
"It's really important and super-cool to use mediums that we naturally are on," Keys said in a phone interview from New York last week.
For the campaign - which also includes Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams, Janelle Monae and Keys' husband, Swizz Beatz - celebrities have filmed "last tweet and testament" videos and will appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.
"It's so important to shock you to the point of waking up," Keys said. "It's not that people don't care or it's not that people don't want to do something, it's that they never thought of it quite like that."
The campaign, she said, puts the disease in perspective.
"This is such a direct and instantly emotional way and a little sarcastic, you know, of a way to get people to pay attention," said Keys, who has more than 2.6 million followers on Twitter.
The foundation, which began in 2003, will accept donations through text messages and bar-code technology, which is featured in the charity's Buy Life campaign. Raised efforts support families affected by HIV/Aids in Africa and India.
"We're trying to sort of make the remark: Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we're all from?" said Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive.
"It's about love and respect and human dignity," she added.
Keys said recruiting celebrities was difficult because of scheduling, but "once I got people on the phone and I was able to paint the concept for them, everybody was in".
Not one person said no, Keys recalled.
"I have a feeling that Gaga is going to raise it all by herself," Blake said. Lady Gaga has more than 7.2 million followers on Twitter, and nearly 24 million fans on Facebook.
"She's got a very, very mobilized fan base and that's beautiful to watch I think (and) she's able to draw their attention to these issues that are very important, you know, and that people follow it and act."
Keys is hoping more people - both famous folks and non-celebs - get involved once the new initiative launches: "It just doesn't have to be just because you're a celebrity or something like that. It can be anybody."
Keys, 29, married rapper-producer Swizz Beatz in July. The two had their first son, Egypt, last month. The Grammy winner said that though her life's getting busier, being a mother and wife makes her want to help others even more.
"As a human being, you deserve to have a chance at life," she said.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
A nurse found hanging after a prank call from two Australian radio presenters about Kate Middleton's first pregnancy blamed herself for the embarrassing release of intimate details of the duchess's condition. Read More »
Outlaw Pete singer Bruce Springsteen has written a children's book based on the opening ballad of his 2009 album Working on a Dream. Read More »
A candid quickie!
The aKING frontman!
The Top 3 couples!
The Top 12!
He's back on TV!
Mother City rockers!
A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!
Pretoria NorthNew East Consulting Services (Pty) LtdR10 000 - R40 000 Per Month
Pretoria NorthNew East Consulting Services (Pty) LtdR5 000 - R20 000 Per Month
East RandR5 000 - R10 000 Per Month
TownhousesR 3 500 000
HousesR 7 500 000
HousesR 2 750 000