Elton John AIDS Foundation Raises Nearly $11 Million at Annual Academy Awards Party
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Elton John AIDS Foundation Raises Nearly $11 Million at Annual Academy Awards Party

While plenty of musicians made headlines at Sunday night’s (March 10) Academy Awards ceremony, one star managed to make a big difference.

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During its annual Academy Awards viewing party on Sunday, the Elton John AIDS Foundation raised $10.8 million dollars for AIDS research. The money from the event will go toward the organization’s Rocket Fund, a fundraising initiative meant to “redouble the fight against AIDS everywhere,” according to the organization’s website.

“So far, this has been an extraordinary year beyond my wildest dreams, including the honor of achieving the EGOT, but it’s tonight’s gathering that is the ultimate highlight,” John said in a statement following the event. “I’m so grateful to everyone who comes out each year to have a lot of fun and do a whole lot of good together. We’ve been loud and proud about showing compassion and ending the dreadful stigma that follows HIV, and we won’t stop until we achieve our mission.”

The annual party — hosted this year by John, David Furnish, Tiffany Haddish, David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris — featured a star-studded guest list that included Sharon Stone, Donatella Versace, Danny DeVito and plenty more. During the evening, a multimillion-dollar live auction saw the organization sell off a number of luxury items, including a bedazzled Yamaha piano signed by John, two pinball machines, two pairs of Chopard earrings and a custom-made Rolex for John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

At the night’s close, John performed alongside the evening’s musical guests, R&B-pop trio Gabriels, to his 1989 hit “Are You Ready for Love,” recreating an iconic moment from Glastonbury 2023 when Gabriels lead singer Jacob Lusk joined John onstage for the track.

“Every year, our iconic Oscar Party just gets bigger and better, a testament to the unwavering support of our passionate supporters,” Furnish said in a statement. “In such worrying times with the rise of discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S., it’s so important to stand up and raise awareness for the people who need our support the most. The funds raised tonight are helping us enhance access to vital health resources such as HIV testing and medication, making a tangible difference in countless lives. We couldn’t have done it without such a great showing of support.”

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