Elton John held his annual fierce Oscar viewing party Sunday night in LA. He raised $5.1 million for his AIDS foundation. A-list celebrities who made it to the hit event included Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Neil Patrick Harris, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, Eric McCormack and many others.
A five-course meal created by Gordon Ramsey was served to all guests. John held a silent auction, which included a piano signed by the star himself. Other items sold were a print of the Someone Saved My Life Tonight singer and John Lennon taken in 1974, a five-day trip to Steven Taylor’s house in Hawaii and a backstage tour of the upcoming Broadway musical Hedwig & the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris.
At the viewing party, musical guest Ed Sheeran performed Lego House and The A-Team. The singer also sang a duet with John on the hit, Candle in the Wind. Sheeran mentioned that each star paid $10,000 to get into the event. “To be honest, you get a lot of rich people who don’t know what to do with their money, he said. “So if they can throw their money in the right direction, it’s a good thing.”
Since the death of his friends Ryan White and Freddie Mercury, John has been involved with various AIDS charities. Both gentlemen suffered and died from the disease. In 1986, he, along with celebrities Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, recorded the single That’s What Friends Are For. The profits for the song went to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The collaboration earned the singers the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
In 1992, John founded the Elton John Aids Foundation. The nonprofit organization has raised over $200 million to help support HIV/AIDS programs in 55 countries. In 2006, the Are You Ready for Love singer donated two Yamaha pianos in order to raise awareness and funds for the foundation.
Another event John hosts is an annual White Tie & Tiara Ball. Each year, the ball has a different theme. The theme of the party last year was love. Celebrities who attended the party included Uma Thurman, Samantha Barks, Elizabeth Hurley and Matthew Morrison. The event helps raise funds for people living with HIV/AIDS. Anyone is able to make a donation through the use of the Elton John AIDS Foundation website.
John came out as bisexual in a 1974 interview with Rolling Stone, however, he confirmed his homosexuality after his divorce from Renate Blauel in 1988. John was also engaged to secretary Linda Woodrow in the 1960s. He started dating filmmaker David Furnish in 1993. They have two sons together, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John. Both were born from the same surrogate mother. The parents were one of the first couples in the UK to form a civil partnership in December 2005.
John is a fierce supporter of same-sex marriage and LGBT social movements. John began hosting the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Viewing Party in 1993. The first Oscar viewing party drew many celebrities and raised $300,000, making it a big hit. This year marked the 22nd time the event has been held.
By April Littleton