Elton John raises $6.4 million to help AIDS epidemic with Oscars viewing party

Elton John and Bernie Taupin

The 28th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised an impressive $6.4 million (£5 million) to support the global effort to end AIDS.

The Tiny Dancer hitmaker was joined by Queer Eye stars Bobby Berk, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness as co-hosts of the bash, which took place on Sunday night at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.

Heidi Klum, Diane Lane, Eric McCormack, and Billy Porter were also on hosting duties.

Guests were welcomed to the party with cocktails, followed by a gala dinner and viewing of the broadcast of the ceremony, after Elton took to the stage to share a few words.

"What a night. It is so special to celebrate our Foundation's 28th annual Oscar Party with the Fab Five and Sam Fender and to top it off, another Oscar win!" he said, after scooping the Best Original Song prize this year for (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman. "But most importantly, tonight we have come together to raise urgently needed funds and awareness for the LGBT community at risk or living with HIV in the U.S. and around the world."

"A gay man is 27 times more likely to have HIV than their straight peers, so tonight helps us to remind people that we still have a long way to go to end the AIDS epidemic."

An auction was also held, featuring artwork specifically created for the Elton John AIDS Foundation by Nathaniel Mary Quinn, with the piece entitled She Would Have Loved The Galas bought by Elton himself.

The 72-year-old also played a white Yamaha Grand Piano that was featured in the film Rocketman before being auctioned off, while actress Sharon Stone took to the stage to auction off two VIP tickets to the Versace's upcoming cruise fashion show.

The funds will help the foundation to continue providing testing, treatment and prevention services for people at risk or living with HIV in the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. and around the world.

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