Alicia Keys surprises students at Alma Mater with instruments

Alicia Keys surprises students at Alma Mater with instruments
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Wednesday 02 November 1:00 p.m.

Singer Alicia Keys surprised students at her old high school on Tuesday (01Nov11) by donating new musical instruments to their arts department during a special visit.

The No One hitmaker returned to the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in New York City to launch new philanthropic organisation the World of Betters, which urges fans to improve their communities using only $1,000.

But the good-hearted musician didn't show up to her alma mater empty-handed - she brought along instruments to help budding stars hone their craft like she once did.

Greeting a crowd that had gathered in the auditorium for the World of Betters launch, she said, "I'm excited to be here. This is the school that I went to, you know, so this is a very important place for me. I totally remember this stage. Although it didn't look like this when I went to school here. It's bigger, that's good."

She added, "A lot needs to be done in the schools around the city and especially here at PPAS... so I'm very happy to be kind of starting this conversation off, as a person that attended PPAS. I feel like this was totally a foundation for me and started me off on my path to my dreams, so I'd love to help give back to the kids here who have those same dreams."

Participants can post their World of Betters ideas online and 100 winners will be announced on 15 December (11).

The contest was launched in North America on Tuesday in partnership with money transfer company Western Union, and similar launch events will be hosted in the coming weeks by singer Sunidhi Chauhan in India and rapper K'Naan in Africa.

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