Belfast Telegraph

Elton holds Aids charity gala night

Sir Elton John was joined by Billy Joel, Alec Baldwin and Courtney Love at a special benefit for his Aids charity in New York City.

The music star was marking the 20th anniversary of the Elton John Aids Foundation at the star-studded event which included a live performance by Heart, a charity auction and an honour for Hillary Clinton recognising her work to help those affected by HIV and Aids.

Elton was passionate throughout the night, urging the attendees that there should be Aids "treatment for everyone, treatment for all".

"We must never give up on anyone," he said, adding that those who want to help have to be "stubborn" when it comes to finding ways to assist those affected by Aids.

The event raised one million dollars through an anonymous donor and more funds through an auction, which included a lunch with CNN newsman Anderson Cooper and a one-hour tennis lesson with Novak Djokovic. Two different signed photos of Elton taken by Terry O'Neill went for 26,000 US dollars and 27,000 US dollars, respectively.

Matt Lauer hosted the 12th annual An Endur ing Vision benefit gala, which saw recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart perform a dozen songs, including the hits What About Love and Alone. "One of my favourite bands of all time," Elton yelled before they hit the stage.

Hillary Clinton was excited as she accepted the first founders award from the foundation. The former secretary of state told the crowd at Cipriani's restaurant that "we still have so far to go" when it comes to helping those affected by HIV and Aids.

"There are so many challenges in front of us," she said. The former senator added that she wants to see an "Aids free generation" and that accomplishing that must be "our north star".

Elton said he was touched by Clinton's speech in Geneva, when she declared that "gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights", and said he hopes she runs for president in 2016.

"She's a great human rights campaigner for people of colour, for people of sexual orientation," he said. "She's made our fight easier by being such a staunch supporter of Aids and for people's human rights."

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