Elton’s Oscar Party Raises Millions for AIDS Research
Over the last 21 years, Elton John‘s annual Oscar party has raised more than $300 million for AIDS research — an impressive number that got even bigger on Sunday (Feb. 24), when John’s latest bash added another $6 million to the total.
“It’s gotten to be such a status event…every year seems to be bigger and better,” John mused on the red carpet outside the star-studded event, which drew appearances from an eclectic assortment of celebrities that included Dave Grohl, Steven Tyler, Bono, and many others. “It gives us an opportunity to raise more money for AIDS and make more people aware. We’re very proud of what we do, but we don’t look back; we look forward. There’s more to do.”
On that note, John later admonished attendees that activism “is needed now more than ever if we are to achieve the promise of an AIDS-free generation…And I promise you that we’ll keep on fighting until the politics and bureaucracies yield to reason and justice. I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to win.”
John’s latest Oscar fundraiser — which auctioned off such goodies as the opportunity to stay at Tyler’s Hawaiian retreat for five days ($250,000) and four private performances from Elton (each netting another $250,000) — isn’t the only shindig of note he’s hosted lately. As we reported last week, he also offered a sneak peek at his upcoming album, ‘The Diving Board,’ to a select group of people at a recent private listening party. Due in September, the set offers what John promises is “the most piano-orientated record I’ve ever made.”