Rock joined the fundraiser's leading lady Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz among other stars for the 12th annual AIDS awareness event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and even he seemed surprised when bidding for a photo with him took off.

But he was thrilled to be part of the evening, telling the audience, "Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and a lot of them have no access to treatment. None at all. So everyone needs to come together, and we've gotta end this once and for all."

Girl on Fire singer Keys, the event's co-founder, was among the night's musical performers, alongside Wale and Lenny Kravitz.

She told the crowd, "Tonight is about letting go and feeling good. I need you to just like be free for tonight. We don’t know how may days we have. We can't count 'em. We have to live 'em. We have to make sure everyone has a chance at life."

Kravitz and Keys performed the night's highlight when they joined forces for a rendition of the rocker's classic Let Love Rule.

The event raised an estimated $3.8 million (£2.4 million).