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30th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raises $8.6 million

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Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

While Elton himself couldn’t make it in person, the 30th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, was a huge success.

The party, hosted by Elton’s husband David Furnish, and their friends Lady Gaga, Billy Porter and Eric McCormack, raised $8.6 million for the Foundation.  Elton joined via satellite from his concert in Lincoln, Nebraska to thank the attendees, and shared a performance of “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” During that performance, guests received limited-edition Elton John Eyewear “Gold Dust” frames to wear along with Elton.

Elton’s friend, singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, performed at the party and duetted with singer/songwriter Jake Wesley Rogers on “Rocket Man.”

“I’m so grateful to my friends Lady Gaga, Billy Porter and Eric McCormack for joining David in hosting such an incredible evening, and of course Brandi Carlile for bringing down the house with an electrifying performance,” Elton said in a statement. “Most of all, I’m thankful to all who attended and participated to ensure that we can continue our lifesaving work to end AIDS. I could feel the love and support all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska!”

David Furnish added in a statement, “It was an especially unforgettable and emotional evening with our sons in attendance for the first time. They made their fathers extremely proud representing our family at the Foundation’s most important night of the year!”

Guests at the bash included Demi Lovato, Kevin Costner, Donatella Versace, Chris Pine, Zooey Deschanel, Fran Drescher, Patricia Arquette, Heidi Klum, Chrissy Metz and many more.

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