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Patti LaBelle encourages everyone to not ignore HIV/AIDS

The music legend commemorated World AIDS Day by performing with Common

In 2009, a reported 33.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Although more are living longer, the fight must continue. So legendary singer Patti LaBelle — a well-known HIV/AIDS awareness advocate — joined other artists as a headlining act at the Keep The Promise concert on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

LaBelle believes the fight for HIV/AIDS awareness must continue and not be ignored.

“It’s sort of like the election when we knew Hillary was gonna win and she didn’t because some of us just dropped all thought about having her as president,” she told The Huffington Post. “It’s like if we dropped our thoughts and care about the AIDS epidemic, then more lives will leave this planet. So I’m there to use my voice and celebrity in any way to help it get better.”

The free event was part of a commemoration of World AIDS Day with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) Around the Globe in a Day initiative. The concert, which took place at the Dolby Theater, was hosted by actress Rosie Perez, and rapper Common was the co-headliner. There was also a surprise performance by hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh. The night also honored actor, activist and singer Harry Belafonte with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many humanitarian efforts.

(L-R) Actress Rosie Perez, AHF President David Weinstein, singer Patti LaBelle, singer Harry Belafonte, rapper Common and AHF Board Chair Cynthia Davis attend the AIDS Healthcare Foundations Keep the Promise Concert.

From left to right: Actress Rosie Perez, AHF President David Weinstein, singer Patti LaBelle, singer Harry Belafonte, rapper Common and AHF board chair Cynthia Davis attend the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Keep the Promise Concert.

Araya Diaz/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Festivities began with a Keep the Promise march down Hollywood Boulevard and ended at the Dolby Theater. Other performers scheduled were JoJo, Espinoza Paz, B-Flow, Jencarlos Canela and more.

Since 1987, AHF has been providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to people living with HIV/AIDS regardless of their ability to pay.

According to its website, Keep the Promise 2016 is an empowering advocacy effort organized by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and partners to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS. Coupled with the commemoration of World AIDS Day, the agency celebrated through dozens of free HIV awareness and testing events throughout the United States, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia.

(L-R: Robi Reed & Doug E. Fresh) Keep The Promise Concert For World Aids Day 2016 on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California.

(L-R: Robi Reed & Doug E. Fresh) Keep The Promise Concert For World Aids Day 2016 on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California.

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The event also kicked off the inaugural Love Healthy Lounge Experience and Love Healthy Virtual Poetry Slam by The Reed for Hope Foundation (RFHF), which took place at an off-site private venue following the concert. RFHF has been a partner with AHF for the past three years on various events and came back together once more for RFHF’s Love Healthy Lounge where celebrity guests partied all night long with health-conscious vegan hors d’oeuvres and tons of dancing to spread awareness on living a health-conscious active lifestyle.

RFHF founder and Emmy Award-winning casting director, Robi Reed, presented the foundation’s Sunshine Award to Common, honoring the work he’s done using his platform to uplift humanity, inspire positive change and be a model of good health. Past Sunshine Award recipients include Magic Johnson, Hall of Fame Athlete and Activist, Jim Brown, Judge Greg Mathis and Jamie Foxx. These awards are given in the spirit of Reed’s Annual Sunshine Beyond Summer Celebration with over 14 years of health awareness.

L-R: Common, Robi Reed

L-R: Common, Robi Reed

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Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.