"It's crazy what we've got going on," Keys told PEOPLE before their duet

By Nick Maslow
Updated November 06, 2015 09:30 PM
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

When Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz unite, you better believe the roof comes down.

On Thursday, the musicians performed fan favorites, including the rocker’s modern-classic “Let Love Rule,” during Keys’ annual Black Ball at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The event raises funds for Keep a Child Alive, an organization Keys cofounded to help children and families impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and India.

“I am very excited about me and Lenny,” Keys, 34, told PEOPLE after arriving with husband Swizz Beatz, 37. “Lenny was here at the very first Black Ball with me.”

Keys explained that she and Kravitz, 51, planned something special for the 12-year anniversary, saying, “It’s crazy what we’ve got going on.”

The “Girl on Fire” singer, who completed the New York Marathon last week, delivered on her promise for a memorable show. Host Chris Rock, 50, got the party started with jokes and even agreed to participate in a selfie, which was auctioned off for $11,000.

Sponsored by Microsoft’s Upgrade Your World initiative, the event touched on Keep a Child Alive’s efforts.

Keys later took the stage with Lion Babe (led by Jillian Hervey, 26, Vanessa Williams’ daughter) and rapper Wale, 31. After Keys performed a handful of her hits – including “No One” – it was time for Kravitz, who got everyone out of their seats with “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and “American Woman.”

Keys and Kravitz summed up the sentiment of the night with their duet, singing, “It’s time to take a stand. Brothers and sisters join hands. We got to let love rule.”