Not one to let a pandemic spoil a great party for a worthy cause, Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish were joined by Neil Patrick Harris as they hosted their annual Oscars viewing party in a virtual format. Dua Lipa performed for the show, including singing with John. Lady Gaga delivered a special message about mental health needs for youth living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Elizabeth Hurley, Olly Alexander and the cast of It’s a Sin, Omari Douglas and others also joined the highly anticipated annual event, which was opened to the public for the first time and raised $3 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“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 told viewers of the event.
John’s viewing parties are the big ticket for Oscar viewing and after parties among the Hollywood glitterati. Sharon Stone once famously quipped to the Hollywood Reporter that “people have to go to other parties, but people want to go to Elton’s party.” The party is also for a good cause, raising dollars for the fight against HIV/AIDS through John’s foundation.
Unlike years in the past, though, the general public was also invited to the formerly exclusive event. Tickets were available for purchase for $19.99. John and Furnish made a light-hearted video inviting the public to the party.
Lipa provided musical entertainment for the event, performing a set from her album Future Nostalgia. She later returned to perform with John, singing a duet of the classic ‘70s pop classic “Bennie and the Jets.”
Lady Gaga also prerecorded a video bringing visibility to the mental health needs of youth living with HIV/AIDS. After noting how the pandemic and quarantine has impacted all members of society, she highlighted the heightened effect on young people living with HIV.
“Our mental health is fundamental to our physical health and this is especially true for young people fighting HIV,” Gaga said in the video. “It’s tragic to think a quarter of adolescents living with HIV don’t have access to the medical care they need because of depression or feeling overwhelmed. The reality is we won’t end the AIDS crisis unless we care for both mental and physical health.”
The event proved to be a wild success despite the new format, and John appeared especially grateful for the public’s involvement in raising much-needed millions for The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.
“It was so much fun to perform with the gorgeous Dua Lipa and open up our party to supporters all over the world,” John gushed in appreciation. “I’m so grateful to Neil for hosting, 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.”