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Staley High School students in shock as singer-songwriter Alicia Keys invites entire school to concert

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Posted at 2:58 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 18:15:02-04

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo — Students at Staley High School got a big surprise on their last day of school. International pop star Alicia Keys invited all the students and faculty to her concert in St. Louis this summer after she was deeply inspired by the school’s “Unity Walk” in April.

“I’ve been so moved by a demonstration of love, unity, support to our brother Ralph Yarl and I wanted to just bring you great news and some good energy,” said Keys in a pre-recorded cellphone video.

Alicia Keys surprises Ralph Yarl's classmates at Staley with invite to St. Louis concert

More than 1,200 students and staff took part in the walk back in April. They chanted words of love and held up signs of support for a fellow Falcon. The act of unity inspired thousands across the county, but junior Taylar Thomas says that is just how things are done at Staley.

“It just shows how close we are as a student body and how like if one Falcon is hurting, we’ll all get up and like go do something to support their need,” said Thomas.

Ralph Yarl’s aunt Faith Spoonmoore said the support from his peers has really helped him heal. Spoonmoore is grateful to Alicia Keys and Jay-Z for giving back to the other kids.

“It is so awesome to see that, it really is, because when this thing initially blew up like a wildfire, there were so many people who came on initially," said Spoonmoore, "I feel like people forget because it’s not a hot story anymore. There are new things that have happened, so it’s good to see that she has not forgotten about Ralph.”

What Staley High School students thought was their final goodbye for the summer quickly became a “see you later.” In less than two months on July 21, 2023, everyone will back together once again in St. Louis to watch Alicia Keys perform.

“Thank you for the opportunity, we’re extremely grateful. I’m just so excited and once again our student body will be able to get together, just go have fun,” said Thomas.

“Thank you, and I’m your biggest fan,” said another junior, KV Stone.