(Above: Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine, who will be performing at the 19th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.)
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) announced today that the 19th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish will take place on Sunday, February 27, at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Sir Elton stated, “I am tremendously excited to announce that Best New Artist Grammy nominee Florence + The Machine has accepted my personal invitation to perform for guests attending this year’s gala event.”
Guests will arrive at the Academy Awards Viewing Party at 4:00 pm for a cocktail reception followed by a gala dinner and viewing of the 83rd Academy Awards® telecast. This year Chef Ludo Lefebvre, owner of the wildly popular touring restaurant LudoBites in Los Angeles, will prepare the menu. Named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux, “Chef of the Future” by Time Magazine and nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the “Rising Star” award, Chef Ludo is known for his innovative and adventurous cuisine and menu design.
For nearly two decades, the world has turned its attention to this annual event as it attracts the brightest stars in entertainment for a singular purpose – to raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 1993 Sir Elton John pledged to the Hollywood community that he would hold this event every year until a cure for HIV/AIDS had been found. Nearly 20 years later, the Hollywood community is still standing with Sir Elton John, showing their support for the Foundation and this worthy cause.
“2011 marks the 30th year since the disease we have come to know as HIV/AIDS was first observed by physicians in American patients,” said Sir Elton. “Since then, tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of this terrible virus and the disease process it causes, as well as in the medical treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. However, in many ways we are still dealing with the same problems, prejudices, and roadblocks that stymied efforts to engage the epidemic aggressively in the 1980s. There are still government policies in place that fly in the face of scientific fact and public health practice; our society still turns its back on the very people who most need our help; and we still do not give our children the information they so urgently need to protect their health, their future and their very lives. This is precisely what the Elton John AIDS Foundation has been doing since its inception, and it is even more important today that we raise as much money as possible to address these issues in order to reduce the terrible human cost of this preventable disease.”
Nowhere else in Hollywood can you find a more eclectic group of luminaries who have come together to support a cause on the evening of the Academy Awards. Throughout the years, the party has played host to legendary actors including Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Ben Kingsley, today’s Academy Award winning stars and celebrity personalities such as Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Denzel Washington and Ryan Seacrest, and the biggest names in rock-n-roll including Jon Bon Jovi, Bono, Sir Paul McCartney, Prince, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson, Katy Perry, Adam Levine and Grace Jones.
In addition to the tremendous celebrity presence at the event, several members of the Hollywood community have also agreed to be Event Chairs at this year’s event. Event Chairs for 2011 include Victoria & David Beckham, Mary J. Blige & Kendu Isaacs, Cameron Crowe, Miley Cyrus, Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, Hugh Jackman & Deborra-lee Furness, Rashida Jones, Jeffrey & Marilyn Katzenberg, Nicole Kidman, Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin, Jane Lynch, Eric & Janet McCormack, Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Tyler Perry, Paul & Julie Rudd, Sharon Stone, Taylor Swift and John Waters among others.
In addition to being the largest fund-raising event on Oscar’s big night, the affair has become known for its spectacular musical performances. This year is no exception, as Florence + The Machine will take center stage to entertain this year’s guests. While Florence + The Machine pride themselves on the fact that no two live performances are ever alike, guests can be sure they will hear some of their favorite songs, including “Dog Days Are Over.”
Known for her soaring, epic vocals and quirky melodies, Florence Welch and her band, “The Machine,” released a debut album, Lungs, in July 2009 to critical acclaim, reaching the top of the UK charts in January 2010, where it stayed for 28 consecutive weeks and has been certified as quadruple platinum. Performances on the MTV Music Awards and the hit show Glee propelled Florence + The Machine into the US market, where their title track “Dog Days Are Over” is currently climbing the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and was featured on the soundtrack of the blockbuster movie “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Follow the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/5321
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.