The 29th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards pre-party raised U.S.$3 million for the global effort to end AIDS.
The April 25 online event was hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John and his husband David Furnish. John sang “Bennie and the Jets” and “Love Again” with Dua Lipa, who also performed on her own, during the party.
Olly Alexander, Nathaniel Curtis, Omari Douglas, Cynthia Erivo, Lady Gaga, Callum Scott Howells, Elizabeth Hurley, David Williams, Lydia West and others also appeared during the hour-long special produced by Fulwell 73 at Rosewood London.
“We haven’t missed a year yet and we certainly weren’t going to miss our 29th annual Oscar Party to benefit my Foundation – even if it meant going virtual,” John said in a media release.
“It was so much fun to perform with the gorgeous Dua Lipa and open up our Party to supporters all over the world. I’m so grateful to Neil for hosting and everyone who attended and all my friends who participated so that we could continue this legendary event to raise vital funds to end the AIDS epidemic.”
The live Oscars telecast portion of the evening, hosted by actor Eric McCormack, followed the pre-party for donors and supporters. It featured a performance by country singer MacKenzie Porter.
Tickets for the virtual event cost U.S.$19.99. All ticket sales proceeds, donations and sponsorship funds from the event went to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The foundation is active on four continents and is committed to overcome the stigma, discrimination and neglect that surrounds AIDS.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It estimates there will be an extra half-a-million deaths from AIDS this year alone in sub-Saharan Africa due to service disruptions as a result of COVID-19. There are 1,600 new cases of HIV in young people globally every day.
The funds raised from this year’s Oscars pre-party will support young people at risk and living with HIV all over the world. One of the newer goals of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its partners is to create tailored digital health care services for young people.