Chris Levine contributes to Elton's Oscars auction
As if Oscars night wasn’t exciting enough for Elton John, who picked up his second Academy Award for his original contribution to Rocketman’s soundtrack, the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised over $6.4 million – with a little help from Chris Levine.
Established in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the leading independent AIDS organisations in the world and its annual Academy Awards Viewing Party (this year was its 28th) welcomes guests to watch the awards as well as enjoy a gala dinner and exciting live auction.
This year the auction was as exciting as the main event itself.
Conducted by Alexander Gilkes, it saw a unique silkscreen of one of Chris Levine's most famous works, "Lightness of Being", raise £220,000 for the Foundation, after none other than Sharon Stone joined the bidding.
In a surprise addition to the auction, Elton John played a white Yamaha Grand Piano that was featured in the film Rocketman and was then auctioned off.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn also created an artwork specifically for the Elton John AIDS Foundation entitled "She Would Have Loved The Galas” – which was bought by Sir Elton John himself, who made it back to the party quickly after his award.
The Foundation works across four continents to provide treatment, testing, care and support to people at risk of or living with HIV, especially marginalised groups that are disproportionately affected such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers. Its mission is simple: an AIDS free future.
Elton John said at the event: “Tonight we have come together to raise urgently needed funds and awareness for the LGBT community at risk or living with HIV in the US 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.”
* Images: 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, sponsored by IMDb, Neuro Drinks and Walmart