Elton John raises millions for AIDS foundation at Oscars party

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Singer Sir Elton John and has partner David Furnish hosted their annual fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in Los Angeles last night.

The Academy Awards viewing party was one of the night’s best attended parties and raised nearly $4 million (£2.75m).

The annual gala is the leading fundraising event in Hollywood on Oscar night.

This year there was a live performance by Sir Elton John and special guest Raphael Saadiq, as well as a emotional first-hand account by Kerrel McKay who spoke about her experiences as an HIV/AIDS activist in her home country of Jamaica.

This year’s guests included the event’s co-chairs Victoria Beckham and John Walters in addition to Hollywood luminaries such as Sir Ben Kingsley, Quincy Jones, Keifer Sutherland, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Chace Crawford, Gordon Ramsey, Eric McCormack, Tim Allen, Taye Diggs and Ricki Lake.

Items auctioned included the opportunity to dance with Ellen DeGeneres on her Emmy Award winning talk show, which sold for $20,000; two jewel encrusted 10th Anniversary Elton John AIDS Foundation collection watches designed by Chopard went for $250,000 each; a one-hour tennis lesson by tennis champion Andy Roddick sold at auction for $31, 000.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation was established in the United States in 1992 and in the United Kingdom in 1993 and has raised more than $150 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programmes in 55 countries around the globe.