He Has Helped Raise An Astonishing $400m For The Elton John Aids Foundation Formed In 1992 From His Kitchen Table
Perhaps Eltons most impressive achievement is his tireless work to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Elton has said he set up the foundation after meeting Ryan White, an American teenager who was banned from school in the 80s after being diagnosed with AIDS.
Elton told Personal Health News that Ryan and his mother quite literally saved my life. Losing Ryan on April 8, 1990, and watching Jeanne and Andrea deal with their grief with such profound grace and humility motivated me to finally take control of my life, get sober, and find new purpose in my determination to honour Ryans extraordinary legacy.
In 1992, that new purpose turned out to be the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Elton John Calls Out Dababy For Hiv Misinformation: This Fuels Stigma And Discrimination
John is the latest star to weigh in after Dua Lipa publicly denounced the rapper
Elton John is the latest star to denounce DaBabys recent inflammatory comments about HIV, saying its the exact opposite of what a musician ought to do with their platform.
In case you missed it: DaBaby, who recently had major features on Dua Lipa and Camila Cabello hits, went on a strange rant to the crowd at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Sunday. The 29-year-old rapper said on stage, If you didnt show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases thatll make you die in two, three weeks, put your cell phone light up.
John weighed in on Wednesday, tweeting, Weve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.
Using that as the jumping off point of a five-tweet thread, John went on to share the latest data on those affected by HIV, noting those who are diagnosed can live a full life thanks to modern-day medicine. The legendary artist added that homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and a musicians job is to bring people together.
John is just the latest artist to condemn DaBabys words, after Dua Lipa released a statement on Tuesday.
Elton John’s Past Struggles With Drugs And Alcohol
The singer’s substance abuse was spiraling out of control until a dying teen inspired him to get sober and make a difference.
Almost three decades clean, Elton John wears his badge of sobriety proudly. He took to Instagram in 2015 to announce the 25th anniversary of his being dry with a picture of a cake topped by the number and the phrase One day at a time.
But his past addictions still have a hold on him.
I still dream, twice a week at least, that Ive taken cocaine and I have it up my nose, the performer told NPR in 2012. And its very vivid and its very upsetting, but at least its a wake-up call.
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Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Award Party
Every year, the foundation throws a viewing party for the Academy Awards. It is an invitation-only event that has grown to become one of the most desired invitations in the entertainment industry, as well as one of EJAF’s most fruitful fundraising efforts. The tradition has been going since the foundation was created in 1992. For the first few years, the party was a dinner held at the Maple Drive restaurant in Beverly Hills. The inaugural dinner was arranged by Patrick Lippet, another activist in Hollywood who was best known for his work with the Rock the Vote campaign. Lippet died from AIDS only three months after helping Elton John put together the first EJAF Oscar night party.
In 1998, the party moved to Spago, another upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills known for its celebrity clientele. It has moved multiple times since then with the West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles serving as the venue in 2018 and 2019.
The event features dinner, a live broadcast of the Academy Awards Ceremony, and a post-broadcast after-party with live music. John tends to pick upcoming bands. The 2018 party featured the band Greta Van Fleet as the headliner.
Elton John At Aids Conference: ‘i Should Be Dead I Nearly Died’
Sir Elton John should now be dead from Aids like his friends Freddie Mercury or Rock Hudson, he said on Monday. For years he was addicted to drugs and drink and put himself at high risk of contracting HIV by his behaviour.
Telling the story of his descent into cocaine-fuelled chaos to the International Aids Conference in Washington DC, he said: “This young man hit absolute rock bottom. His life was a mess, he was spiralling out of control. He should have died. To be honest, he nearly did.”
John, who started his own foundation to help people with HIV 20 years ago and has written a book about it , was speaking for the first time at the conference, which takes place every two years. In a passionate speech that was greeted with huge enthusiasm and a standing ovation, he said he was rescued from the depths of his addiction by those who cared for him and has now been sober for 22 years.
“By all rights I shouldn’t be here today,” he said. “I should be dead six foot under in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury, just like Rock Hudson. Every day I wonder, how did I survive?”
Drug user and prostitutes were condemned and stigmatised for leading immoral lives. Aids orphans were abandoned in the streets and children were raped and abused. “It makes me feel sick to think of this indifference and hate,” John said.
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Events Of The Week: ‘the Gray Man”rap Sht’ And More
Im very proud of the foundation and what we achieve, how we work, how we raise money, how we spend it and how we dont waste it. But hopefully in another 10 years, this will be over, John said. We have the medicine to make this disease go away we just have to make the stigma go away and pull people together as a human entity.
To make the next 25 years even more successful than the first, John plans on continuing to do what the foundation does best: work together.
When we started, it was two people around a kitchen table in Atlanta. I wanted it to become a great foundation, weve appointed great people to run it, weve kept it small, we dont have people driving cars, we keep our overheads at three percent, and we pay for everything. People give us money because they know its actually going to get out there we dont waste it, said John. Its all about cooperation now. We all cooperate with each other, which is the way forward.
The EJAF has raised more than $385 million since being founded in 1992.
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John, who first came out as gay in the 1970’s, said the worst part of seeing his friends get sick was there wasn’t anything he could do.
“But I knew I had to help,” he wrote. “I started small by volunteering and lending my voice to the growing chorus of activists speaking out about the crisis. But I quickly realized that wasnt enough.”
In 1992, he started the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“We werent looking for a cure — we simply wanted to help people, provide care and support and comfort, and fight the injustices faced by those living with HIV/AIDS,” he added.
John, 68, eventually linked up with the likes of Larry Kramer and Elizabeth Taylor to shed the stigma of AIDS.
“I also worked alongside those whose names you might not know, people working tirelessly on the front lines of the crisis in communities most vulnerable to the epidemic and in research laboratories that were desperately searching for treatments and maybe even a cure,” he wrote. “Together, they changed the course of history and saved countless millions of lives. Im proud and honored to have worked alongside them.”
John reminded readers that in the early 1990’s, AIDS “was the No. 1 cause of death for men ages 25-44 in the United States. Tens of millions of people died around the world.”
But John stressed that there are those still without access to proper care.
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Present: Rocketman Biopic And Retirement Tour
On 24 January 2018, it was announced that John was retiring from touring and would soon embark on a three-year farewell tour. The first concert took place in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on 8 September 2018. John cited spending time with his family as the reason for his retirement: “Ten years ago if you asked me if I would stop touring I would have said no. But we had children and that changed our lives. I have had an amazing life and career but my life has changed. My priorities are now my children and my husband and my family.” Consisting of more than 300 concerts worldwide, the tour is expected to end in New Zealand in January 2023. In September 2018, John reportedly signed an agreement with Universal Music Group to represent his new music “for the rest of his career” in addition to his work from the last 50 years.
On 30 March, John performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” at the memorial service for Australian cricketer Shane Warne. On 4 June 2022, John was projected on to the facade of Buckingham Palace playing “Your Song” at the Platinum Party at the Palace to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Fox To Sleeping With The Past
John’s 1981 album The Fox was recorded during the same sessions as 21 at 33 and included collaborations with Tom Robinson and Judie Tzuke. On 13 September 1980, with Olsson and Murray back in the Elton John Band, and joined by Richie Zito on lead guitar, Tim Renwick on rhythm guitar, and James Newton Howard on keyboards, John performed a free concert to an estimated 400,000 fans on The Great Lawn in Central Park in New York. He played part of the set dressed as Donald Duck. The album Jump Up! was released in 1982, the biggest hit from which was “Blue Eyes“.
With original band members Johnstone, Murray and Olsson together again, John returned to the charts with the 1983 album Too Low for Zero, which included the singles “I’m Still Standing” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues“, the latter of which featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and reached number four in the US and number five in the UK. In October 1983, John caused controversy when he broke the United Nations‘ cultural boycott on apartheid-era South Africa by performing at Sun City. He married his close friend and sound engineer, Renate Blauel, on Valentine’s Day 1984 the marriage lasted three years.
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From Ed Sheeran To Eminem His List Of Celebrity Friends Is Exhaustive
Elts has, of course, been a close confidant of everyone from the Spice Girls to Lady Gaga to Kelly Osbourne. Hes also known for his friendship with Ed Sheeran, whose manager formally worked with Eltons management company, Rocket Entertainment.
Of course, the Rocketmans 2001 Grammys duet with Eminem known for his homophobic lyrics prompted a lot of controversy. However, the pair remain firm friends.
Speaking on the Graham Norton Show in 2017, Elton even revealed the present the Stan rapper sent him for his civil partnership to David Furnish: It shows you how homophobic he isnt we had two diamond-encrusted cock rings on velvet cushion.
May 16, 2019 at 6:20am PDT
Elton John: Lucky To Be Hiv
Superstar and longtime Atlanta resident Elton John said he was the “luckiest person in the world” not to have contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS while the epidemic was killing many of his friends in the 1980s.
In a revealing interview Tuesday with NBC’s Matt Lauer, the singer and songwriter acknowledged he regularly practiced unprotected gay sex at the time and that he didn’t have a fear of contracting the disease because he was often high on drugs and alcohol.
“You know what, when you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” he told Lauer on The Today Show, adding that he often couldn’t remember what he’d done the night before.
“I came out of this HIV-negative,” John said. “I was the luckiest person in the world.”
He also said he “wasted such a big part of my life” when the epidemic first hit because he was so self-absorbed with his addictions and didn’t use his rock stardom to help fight the disease.
“You know, I was having people die right, left and center around me, friends,” John said. “And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that you know, it’s that bad of a disease.”
The 65-year-old singer was on The Today Show promoting his memoir, “Love Is The Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS,” which was released Tuesday.
John entered into a civil partnership with his longtime partner, David Furnish, when it became legal in Britain in 2005.
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Debut Album To Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
On the advice of music publisher Steve Brown, John and Taupin began writing more complex songs for John to record for DJM. The first was the single “I’ve Been Loving You” , produced by Caleb Quaye, Bluesology’s former guitarist. In 1969, with Quaye, drummer Roger Pope, and bassist Tony Murray, John recorded another single, “Lady Samantha“, and an album, Empty Sky. For their follow-up album, Elton John, John and Taupin enlisted Gus Dudgeon as producer and Paul Buckmaster as musical arranger. Elton John was released in April 1970 on DJM Records/Pye Records in the UK and Uni Records in the US, and established the formula for subsequent albums: gospel-chorded rockers and poignant ballads. The album’s first single, “Border Song“, peaked at 92 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second, “Your Song“, reached number seven in the UK Singles Chart and number eight in the US, becoming John’s first hit single as a singer. The album soon became his first hit album, reaching number four on the US Billboard 200 and number five on the UK Albums Chart.
The Rocket Record Company To 21 At 33
John formed his own label, The Rocket Record Company , and signed acts to itnotably Neil Sedaka ” rel=”nofollow”> Bad Blood”) and Kiki Dee, in whom he took a personal interest. Instead of releasing his own records on Rocket, he signed an $8 million contract with MCA. When the contract was signed in 1974, MCA reportedly took out a $25 million insurance policy on John’s life. In 1974, MCA released Elton John’s Greatest Hits, a UK and US number one that is certified Diamond by the RIAA for US sales of 17 million copies.
Pete Townshend of the Who asked John to play the “Local Lad” in the 1975 film adaptation of the rock operaTommy, and to perform the song “Pinball Wizard“. Drawing on power chords, John’s version was recorded and used in the movie. The song charted at number 7 in the UK. John, who had adopted a glam aesthetic on stage, would later state glam rock icon “had a great effect on me.”
Besides being John’s most commercially successful period, 19701976 is also held in the highest regard critically. In the three-year span from 1972 to 1975, John saw seven consecutive albums reach number one in the US, something that had not been accomplished before. All six of his albums to make Rolling Stone‘s 2003 list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” are from this period, with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ranked highest at number 91. Between 1972 and 1976 he also had six singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
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Jonathan Van Ness Opens Up About Decision To Reveal Hiv Diagnosis
It is critical that DaBaby and his fans learn that people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV. While DaBaby has made haphazard attempts to apologize, actions need to be taken for full accountability and changes to do better in the future,” Usher added. “It further confirms what GLAAD reported last year in the State of HIV Stigma Study that stigma and misinformation around HIV is widespread, and there is much work to be done to educate the public, including entertainers.
In 2020, that study found that only half of American adults feel knowledgeable about HIV and that high levels of perceived stigma around the virus still exist. About 90% of American adults agreed there is stigma around HIV, people are quick to judge those with HIV, and that people make assumptions when someone is tested for HIV.
Recently, DaBaby has been topping the charts along with pop star Dua Lipa for their collaborative remix of her song “Levitating.” The version featuring DaBaby has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past 42 weeks, currently reigning at the No. 3 spot after peaking at No. 2.
Lipa, who boasts a huge LGBTQ following, spoke out on Tuesday against her musical partner.
Singer Demi Lovato echoed those sentiments by sharing an infographic about the incident with a photo that reads “HIV is not a gay disease.”
A representative for the rapper has not returned TODAY’s request for additional comment.