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Elton John’s Oscar viewing party raises a record-breaking amount for his AIDS Foundation

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Elton John Foundation

Elton John‘s annual Academy Awards Viewing Party has been going on for 32 years, but this year’s edition was the most successful yet.


The start-studded event, co-hosted by Elton and husband David FurnishNeil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka, and Tiffany Haddish, raised a record-breaking $10.8 million for Elton’s AIDS Foundation. It also featured a performance from Elton, who took the stage with special musical guest, the band Gabriels, for his 2003 U.K. hit “Are You Ready for Love.”

A huge chunk of the money raised came from an auction held during the party. A Yamaha piano bedazzled in crystals and signed by Elton sold for over $360,000 after Elton joined the auctioneer onstage and played “Tiny Dancer” on the instrument. Two Elton pinball machines went for $200,000 each. 

Other items that were auctioned off included two of Elton’s Gucci bomber jackets, a meet-and-greet with Elton and David at their upcoming photography exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and a Rolex from Elton’s personal collection, engraved to commemorate his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

“So far, this has been an extraordinary year beyond my wildest dreams, including the honor of achieving the EGOT, but it’s tonight’s gathering that is the ultimate highlight,” Elton said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to everyone who comes out each year to have a lot of fun and do a whole lot of good together. We’ve been loud and proud about showing compassion and ending the dreadful stigma that follows HIV, and we won’t stop until we achieve our mission.”

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