Alicia Keys Talks Sacrificing Her Digital Life On World AIDS Day

Singer tells MTV News celebrity 'Buy Life' campaign is a 'shocker' but will engage everyone in cause of HIV/AIDS awareness.

[artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys[/artist] walked into the CNN newsroom on Wednesday (December 1) and saw the staff swirling around working and thought the sight would make for a cool picture to send to her Twitter followers.

The thing is, she’d killed off her digital life the night before. So no TwitPic, but Keys isn’t sweating it as she’s leading a campaign called Buy Life to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS and the many lives lost in Africa and India. The idea is for people to donate money to “buy back” hers and other celebrities’ digital lives by texting donations to benefit her Keep a Child Alive organization.

And the slogan is simple: You buy a digital life to save a real one.

“You can really feel the energy of it, it’s there,” Keys told MTV News of the campaign, which has set a goal of raising $1 million before celebrity participants like Usher, Kim Kardashian and Swizz Beatz return to Twitter and Facebook.

“I love that. That’s what’s so important about it, we’re engaging everyone,” Keys continued. “Not only are these incredible artists deciding to sacrifice their digital life until we collectively raise $1 million for the cause, but we’re asking everyone who participates in our Twitter and Facebook and who we communicate with to be a part of it as well. I think a lot of people feel like there are things going on in the world and want to do something but [think], ‘What am I supposed to do?’ So it feels like people have an outlet and a way to participate. By texting, by buying Usher’s life back, I think they get a bit of a shocker, but I think people will love it. And they’ll pay attention and know what do to.”

The initiative by Keys’ Keep a Child Alive was launched on Wednesday to coincide with World Aids Day. In addition to the “Un-Thinkable” singer, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest and others have also given up their digital lives.
Jay Sean told MTV News that while the approach may shock, sometimes ideas like this are needed to get a message across.

“I think we all sometimes turn a blind eye to things that might be depressing, too heavy,” the U.K. singer said. “But sometimes you need to be really shook up and poked and prodded to do something, because the way I believe is that every human needs another human being to get some life. … We need each other, and I feel like we should all help each other.”

Will you help bring your favorite celeb back to life? Let us know in the comments!