Elton John celebrates 25 years of AIDS foundation

AP

Print Article

  • Elton John, left, and David Furnish, right, attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 1

    Billy Joel attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 2

    Neil Patrick Harris, left, and David Burtka, right, attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 3

    Sheryl Crow attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 4

    Glenn Close attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 5

    Susan Lucci attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 6

    John Waters attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 7

    Elton John attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • Elton John, left, and David Furnish, right, attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 1

    Billy Joel attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 2

    Neil Patrick Harris, left, and David Burtka, right, attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 3

    Sheryl Crow attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 4

    Glenn Close attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 5

    Susan Lucci attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 6

    John Waters attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • 7

    Elton John attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A teary and emotional Elton John celebrated the 25th anniversary of his AIDS foundation with a gala in New York City, raising about $4.4 million and telling the audience that they would end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

John's efforts to raise awareness and fight against AIDS were lauded by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and singer Aretha Franklin, who closed the event with a collection of songs.

John grew teary-eyed onstage after Jeanne White — the mother of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who became the poster child for HIV awareness during the 1980s AIDS crisis — spoke passionately about how John visited her son while he was sick and helped her family financially. She called John her "guardian angel."

John said at the time he visited Ryan White, he "hated himself" and that the White family helped him change for the better.

"What the White family did was light a little candle in my soul," John said. "Six months after Ryan passed away, I got help and I became sober."

The 70-year-old singer also was in tears at the end of his speech, recalling a birthday party he held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where Tuesday's event took place, and spending time with his late friend, writer Ingrid Sischy.

"She was my sister. I don't have her anymore. I have her inside of me. And I miss her so much," he said of Sischy, who died of breast cancer in 2015. "I just wish she was here to see this."

The Elton John AIDS Foundation launched in 1992 in the United States and in the United Kingdom a year later. The two organizations have raised more than $385 million since then, and John said 98 percent of what is raised is used to help others.

"The life that Elton John and David (Furnish) have built, the friends they have and the work they do will in the end be the most beautiful song he ever wrote," Clinton said.

"An Enduring Vision: A Benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation" was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and attendees included singers Billy Joel, Sting, Sheryl Crow and Maxwell, and actresses Glenn Close and Susan Lucci. The event raised more than $700,000 in a live auction. A visit to a taping of the TV series "Will & Grace" and a meet-and-greet with the cast went for $45,000; a Bvlgari necklace sold for $70,000; and tickets to "Saturday Night Live" went for $55,000.

Alec Baldwin appeared onstage before the "SNL" tickets were auctioned, going into character as Clinton and then President Donald Trump. He earned loud laughs from the audience.

Franklin, who plans to retire soon, closed the three-hour-plus event with songs like "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Freeway." John called her "the greatest singer of all time."

Other performers included Grammy-winning musicians Joshua Bell and Heather Headley, who has also won a Tony Award.

___

Online:

http://ejaf.org/

      

Print Article

Read More Entertainment

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

AP

November 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm | NEW YORK (AP) — Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hells Bells" and "Back ...

Comments

Read More

Franken tells woman in letter he's 'ashamed' of himself

AP

November 18, 2017 at 5:00 am | WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Al Franken has written a letter to the woman who accused him of forcibly kissing and groping her, saying he is ashamed of his actions and apologizes. Los Angeles radio host...

Comments

Read More

The Ballad of Thoreau

November 17, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee ...

Comments

Read More

‘Orient Express’ chugs into the Panida

November 17, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee In a special limited release, the Panida Theatre brings Agatha Christie’s classic of suspense, “Murder on the Orient Express” to Sandpoint now through Nov. 30. It’s a tale of 13 strangers stranded o...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2017 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X