KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students at a North Kansas City high school received the surprise of a lifetime Friday morning.
Alicia Keys shocked students at Staley High School with free tickets to her concert in St. Louis. She’s also covering the cost of transportation to the July 21 show.
Students learned about the concert during a last day of school assembly when school leaders played a recorded message from Keys.
“Oh my gosh, I was so surprised that she would do that for us,” Taylar Thomas said, “but I’m just so glad that Ralph is going to make a full recovery and he’ll be with us next year.” “I feel like everyone was in disbelief, like is this real, is this happening,” Thomas said.
Keys said she was inspired by the Unity Walk students held for classmate Ralph Yarl last month. More than 1,200 students and staff took part in the walk holding signs of support and chanting “We love you Ralph.”
“We all came together to be, like, one,” KV Stone said, “and to show that what’s going on around the world, that we need to be all together.”
Stone said the concert will be another opportunity to come together as classmates — this time knowing Ralph Yarl is recovering well at home.
“I’ll be singing my heart out,” Stone said.
“It means a lot, when we were walking, we all came together as a unit. black, white, all racial, like we all came together just to show our support,” Stone said, “She gave us the opportunity to go to her concert and I’m happy and everybody’s going to have fun.”
The 16-year-old was shot and injured by an 84-year-old man after Yarl went to the wrong home to pick up his siblings in a Northland neighborhood on April 13.
“I’ve been so moved by the demonstration of love, unity, support for our brother Ralph Yarl,” Keys said. “I would like to invite the entire school to my Keys for the Summer Tour July 21st, I can’t wait to see you!”
Keys ended the video with “Let’s do this!” and blew a kiss.
Keys also personally invited Yarl to a concert earlier this month, according to TMZ.
All students and staff who attended Staley HS during the 2022-2023 are eligible for a ticket and transportation, according to the North Kansas City School District. Students 18 and older will receive one ticket while those under 18 will receive two tickets, one for the student and one for a guardian.