The "No One" hitmaker was honored for her achievements in entertainment at the ceremony, while Banks was recognized for her work in the media category at the Washington, D.C., event.
Accepting her award, Keys expressed her amazement at the level of her success.
She said, "For me, I'm just a girl still from Harlem, and here I am. It's a tremendous feeling to do what you love and for people to love what you do… People are honoring me for doing what my heart tells me to do, (and that is) so fulfilling."
And singer John Legend was pleased to see the 27-year-old star feted at the event.
He tells USA Today, "She has had exceptional success in her career. She carries herself with such dignity and grace, and her charitable work is also really exceptional. I think she's a great entertainer and a great citizen of the world."
The awards, which were hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and attended by the likes of Wyclef Jean and actresses Kerry Washington and Vivica Fox, pay tribute to the contributions African-Americans have made in various fields.
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