The 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised a whopping $9 million for the ongoing global effort to end AIDS.
Sir Elton returned to host this year’s event in Los Angeles on Sunday night after missing out on last year’s festivities due to a scheduling conflict. The event was co-hosted by his husband, David Furnish, with special guests Eric McCormack and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and raised the milestone amount of money for the foundation.
Singer Rina Sawayama serenaded the star-studded crowd with performances of her songs “Minor Feelings,” “Hold The Girl” and “This Hell.” Elton also joined her onstage for a resounding duet of “Chosen Family,” a song that was featured on his compilation album The Lockdown Sessions.
Elton said in a statement, “I’m delighted to have reunited with all of my friends tonight after such a long time apart and better yet, to have raised over $9 million for the fight against AIDS. … We mustn’t forget that HIV is still causing needless suffering around the world and we must protect those most vulnerable to this disease with testing and compassionate care.”
“We can see an end to AIDS in our lifetimes, but first we must break down stigma and discrimination and provide equal access to healthcare to finally end the epidemic for everyone, everywhere,” he continued.
Furnish explained in his own statement the money raised will “help us continue HIV and AIDS prevention and care programs across the world, save millions of lives and help countless people to have a brighter future.”
Among the attendees were Brooke Shields, Donatella Versace, Heidi Klum, Smokey Robinson, country superstar Maren Morris, Bridgerton alum Regé-Jean Page and Sharon Osbourne.
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