Elton John honored by American Idol contestants
Thursday, March 31 2011
The eleven remaining American Idol contestants on March 30, 2011 brought their best performance to the stage in a time when it mattered most.
The extreme situation on the singing competition show broadcasted live across the Untied States had those on stage focused and ready for their Elton John song performance.
This week the show was honoring Elton John and the vast library of music he has performed for the world. As the audience swayed with songs they have heard or perhaps sung in the past, the show had a certain historical reflection to the night. Elton John has sold over 250 million records and is considered one of the most successful recording artist ever.
While the tribute of singing Elton John’s singles may be minor in comparison to the career of the legend, the audience was engulfed in the movies, style and madness of one of the best performers on the planet.
Here is the list of Elton John singles performed on American Idol on March 30, 2011:
Scotty McCreary: Country Comfort
Naima Adedapo: I’m Still Standing
Paul McDonald: Rocket Man
Pia Toscano: Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me
Stefano Langone: Tiny Dancer
Lauren Alaina: Candle in the Wind
James Durbin: Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
Thia Megia: Daniel
Casey Abrams: Your Song
Jacob Lusk: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Haley Reinhart: Benny and the Jets
Using the special judges save last week threw the competition directly into the hands of the fans and the votes cast directly following the show. American Idol the Results will be brutal on March 31, 2011 with two of the contestants going home instead of the traditional one. Stressing this is the most important time to vote up to this point, the American Idol contestants need their fans to call, text or go online to support their dream of being crowned the next American Idol.
Elton backs Greenwich Theatre
Tuesday, March 29 2011
Elton John has given Greenwich Theatre a much needed cash injection.
He sent an undisclosed sum to the theatre to help fund a production of 1950's gay activist play The Temperamentals. Theatre executive director James Hadrell said: "We wrote to him out of the blue saying we were doing the show and that it was going to cost quite a bit of money to put on and would he like to help us out and he sent us a cheque.
"The Temprementals has had quite a long run on Broadway so he was probably aware of the production. We will be taking it to Dublin, Hereford and then back to Greenwich." The show will be performed at this year's Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in May 2011 before two dates at Greenwich Theatre on June 1 and 2, 2011.
James said: "We will be inviting him to the opening night. He will be very welcome to come along."
Matthew Morrison: Elton is a jerk
Tuesday, March 29 2011
Matthew Morrison has joked Elton John is a “jerk” for announcing they had recorded a duet together.
The star is releasing his debut album in May 2011 and can’t wait to see how it is received by fans. Matthew is known for portraying teacher Will Schuester on American show Glee, which is renowned for covering songs by high-profile artists. He thinks people will be surprised when they hear his record and doesn’t want to speak about it too much so some of the surprises on it remain in store.
One of those was supposed to be a duet with Elton, but Elton was so excited about working with Matthew he immediately announced what he’d been doing when their recording session ended. “He let slip, I know… what a jerk!” Matthew teased. “There are only three duets on the album and I wanted to keep them very secretive until the album was ready to go. Elton, of course, went, ‘I just did a song with Matthew!’ But it was great. I mean it was such an amazing, amazing day in the studio.”
Matthew has been laying down tracks for his LP while working on Glee, which is about a group of students who bond over their love of singing. The process has been tiring as he hasn’t had much free time, but the 32-year-old is adamant it’s been worth it. “I’ve been sitting on this material for a while. I recorded a lot of it during the first hiatus on Glee about a year ago. It’s been a process… now that Glee has started back up again I do all my recording every single weekend, so I’m actually dying to go to sleep,” he told UK television show Lorraine.
Elton to meet David Cameron over gay HIV rates
Tuesday, March 29 2011
Elton John says he will meet British prime minister David Cameron to discuss what can be done to tackle UK HIV rates in gay men.
Elton and HIV campaigner said he had a date in the diary to speak to the prime minister. He was speaking to Gaydar Radio’s Neil Sexton and Debbie Ryan on March 27, 2011.
Sexten said: “We’ve been told that HIV prevention services in London face a funding cut of about 43 per cent, and that’s on the back of the news that in the last ten years we’ve seen a 70 per cent rise in new diagnosis of HIV infections in gay men. If you could both speak to the government and to David Cameron what would you say?”
Elton replied: “I’m going to see David Cameron when I come back in April, I have a date in my diary to see him. I’m going to be talking with him – with the people who work with my AIDS foundation – to talk about this very thing and to see what the government is going to do about it – and to see how we can work together. It is startling that in this day and age [that] the infection rate has gone up so much within gay men. It is something on our agenda and I’m going to be doing that when I come back in May.”
A Downing Street source confirmed that a private meeting would take place in the next couple of months. Elton and David were voted campaigners of the year for 2011 in the Gaydar Heroes Awards. David, who is the chairman of John’s AIDS Foundation, told the radio station that he was particularly concerned about younger gay men not understanding safe-sex messages. He said: “The new younger generation of gay men that are out there, they didn’t get the same safe-sex messages that I got when I was growing up – when I was becoming aware of my sexuality. There has been a decrease in funding, cutting that funding further is disastrous because there is so much misinformation out there relating to HIV and how it’s transmitted and how it affects people.
“We need to continue – as each new generation comes along and becomes sexually active – we need continue to make them aware and understand the risks of HIV”.
Elton: "I'm a modern woman these days"
Tuesday, March 29 2011
Elton has described himself as 'a modern woman' as husband David Furnish insisted he wears the trousers in their 18-year romance.
Elton said he’s finally landed in cyberspace after 64 years so he can see baby boy Zachary during his travels. "As they say, I am now a modern woman. I’ve actually entered the 21st century", he told Gaydar Radio’s Neil Sexton and Debbie Ryan.
In their joint interview, David teased: "For someone who has steadfastly refused to get online, embrace the computer, embrace the internet, Elton’s got the delivery of his first iPad 2 weeks ago because it has the double camera on it. He wants to Skype his little son every day when he’s not with him."
Meanwhile, Elton said little Zachary has strengthened his bond with the Canadian film maker. "When David and I had our civil union in Windsor, it brought us closer together," he said. "We’d already been together 13 years. It brought us together in the most incredible way. It moved us closer together," he went on. "When we had Zachary at the beginning of the year, it moved us even closer together", he added.
The secret to their longevity? "You have to discuss everything openly", said Elton. "You have to be honest and treat the person with respect," he added.
Bakery makes Elton’s Philadelphia birthday cake a sight to behold
Sunday, March 27 2011
Elton John was in Philadelphia on March 25, 2011 to celebrate his music — and his birthday.
And a local bakery has been asked to help kick up the celebration a notch. Diana Anello, the cake boss at Bredenbeck’s Bakery, in Chestnut Hill, has some experience in creating cakes for rock stars.
“I got the phone call to make Bon Jovi’s guitar cake, and that turned out so fantastic, and they said they might have another upcoming project. Then we got another phone call,” Anello told KYW Newsradio. That call came from the folks at the Wells Fargo Center, who ordered a cake in the shape of a grand piano, to be presented to Elton.
Anello says it took her about 12 hours to design and create the cake and its separate cake bench. “It is two layers of our delicious butter pound cake with our chocolate icing that is rich and decadent.” She even made big, edible purple eyeglasses for the top of the piano. And she says she didn’t forget the glitter. “It’s incredible. It’s FDA approved and it comes in all kinds of fabulous colors, and it gives it a little bit of pop, a little bit of shiny,” she says.
Elton invites Prince William and Kate to ultimate Come Dine With Me
Saturday, March 26 2011
Elton John is planning to host the ultimate Come Dine With Me event to celebrate the royal wedding – with Kate and William as guests of honour.
The star-studded guest list for the dinner party, three weeks before the big day, also includes David and Victoria Beckham. And as in the popular TV show, the visitors may even get to look around Elton and David Furnish’s stunning home next to Windsor Castle while the feast is being prepared.
The soirée, at the beginning of April 2011, will allow Kate and Wills to meet Elton and David’s baby son Zachary for the first time. Elton, who was close to William’s mum Diana, revealed last month he had received a coveted invite to Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. He said: “I’ve been trying to be discreet, yeah, we do have an invitation.”
A source said: “Elton loves entertaining and hosting people at his home. He is touring America at the moment but flits between there and the UK, and comes to his Old Windsor home whenever a short break in his schedule allows. He has wanted to invite Kate and William for dinner for a while now to thank them for his wedding invitation. He always puts on the most incredible feasts fit for royalty anyway, so they should feel right at home. The Beckhams will be invited, but it depends on whether his club let him travel.”
A spokesman for Kate and Wills said on March 25, 2011: “Anything of this nature would be a private matter.” Elton’s Old Windsor home backs on to the 5,000 acre deer park in the grounds of Windsor Castle where Prince Andrew lives. Elton and David host many lavish parties at the house, including the annual glitzy White Tie and Tiara Ball held to raise money for Elton’s Aids foundation. Along with the Beckhams, he is one of only a few celebs invited to the wedding. Elton is also one of the only famous people close to the couple who usually prefer to socialise with their old friends.
Elton will turn 64 on March 25, 2011 - and this year he will be celebrating with fans in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. Last year he performed a birthday show with Ray Cooper in Cape Town, South Africa.
On behalf of the Hercules team and all the fans around the world, we would like to wish him all the best and a happy birthday!
Elton John & Leon Russell performed in Pittsburgh on March 23, 2011
Thursday, March 24 2011
"Today I lost a friend and you lost a hero named Elizabeth Taylor," Elton told a cheering crowd at the Consol Energy Center.
"She was not just a movie star, although she was a huge movie star and there will never be anyone like her again ... She was without a doubt one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life. She stood up when no one was prepared to stand up and be counted against AIDS," Elton continued.
"She supported everybody in that with 1,000% of her body and her fiber. But most of all she loved people. She fought for the underdog. She was an incredible woman and I was privileged to have known her."
As Elton began to play the opening notes of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" he said: "God bless you, Elizabeth. God knows how we're going to replace you. This is for you and your beautiful memory and for all the people you helped and saved."
Following is the complete set list of the Pittsburgh show on March 23, 2011:
The Steinway Model-Z piano used by John Lennon to write ‘Imagine’ was sold at an auction house owned by Mick Fleetwood in October 2000. It was bought by Wham! star, George Michael, for $2.1 million.
2) Marilyn Monroe’s baby grand piano - $662,500
A baby grand piano that was owned by Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe was bought by singer Mariah Carey in October 1999. The piano sold for $662,500 at a Christie’s auction.
3) Trident Studios piano - £200,000
A piano owned by Trident studios was sold for £200,000 in September 2008 at a Fame Bureau auction. The piano was used by The Beatles to record Hey Jude. The piano was also used by Elton John, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury.
4) Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s songwriting piano - $164,500
A piano used by Elton John and Bernie Taupin to write Elton’s first five albums was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries in April 2004. The piano, which was used to write ‘Your Song’, sold for $164,500.
5) Piano owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono - $41,825
A piano owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries for $41,825 in 2005. The piano was from Lennon and Ono’s secret hideaway in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island.
Elton on Elizabeth Taylor’s death
Thursday, March 24 2011
Elton, David and everyone at the Elton John AIDS Foundation is mourning the loss of actress and HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor.
“We have just lost a Hollywood giant, but more importantly we have lost an incredible human being,” Elton said in a statement. “Elizabeth Taylor earned her fame with her extraordinary talent as a young actress, making her first movie at the tender age of nine. She earned our adoration for her stunning beauty and for being the very essence of glamorous movie stardom. And she earned our enduring love and respect for her compassion and her courage in standing up and speaking out about AIDS when others preferred to bury their heads in the sand.”
And David, the Chairman of Elton John Aids Foundation, expressed the same love for Elizabeth: “In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Elizabeth Taylor was a force of nature,” he added in a statement. “She compelled people to listen, made them respond, and urged them to act. She gave comfort to the dying, roundly condemned the stigma associated with AIDS, and was fiercely critical of the government’s sluggish, reluctant response to the epidemic.”
Elizabeth founded the National AIDS Research Foundation in the early 1980s and joined with Dr. Mathilde Krim’s AIDS Medical Foundation in 1985, which later became amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. “Elizabeth Taylor has inspired every one of us and many millions of others around the world,” Executive Director Scott Campbell of EJAF also said in a statement. “She has shown us the meaning of courage and moral responsibility in the face of injustice and bigotry. We join our colleagues at amfAR in mourning the loss of an extraordinary leader in the fight against AIDS.”
It is a sad day in Hollywood. Elizabeth Taylor's publicist is telling news organizations that she has passed away at 79 from congestive heart failure.
The British-born child star who grew up to become one of the world's most famous actresses and great beauties and dedicated AIDS activists, whose complex personal life often overwhelmed her Oscar-winning professional career, was admitted last month to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for treatment of congestive heart failure.
Taylor missed a scheduled appearance at an amfAR benefit gala in February 2011 in New York, where she was to receive an award alongside President Bill Clinton and designer Diane von Furstenberg, celebrating their dedication to AIDS research. Elton john accepted the honor on her behalf and read a message from her: "I am there in spirit and I join you in saluting my fellow honorees and all these extraordinary leaders. I am inspired by their example, exhilarated by their vision, and encouraged by their compassion and love. And I love them in return."
Taylor appeared in more than 50 films and won Academy Awards for her performances in Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). She had eight marriages, most famously to the love of her life Hollywood producer Mike Todd and two times to actor Richard Burton.
Elton buys film options to Will Gallows And The Snake-Bellied Troll
Saturday, March 19 2011
Andersen Press is excited to announce that only a month after publication, Elton John's film company, Rocket Pictures has bought the film options for Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll by Derek Keilty.
The wild west-meets-fantasy children's novel was hailed by Amanda Craig in The Times as 'a romping fantasy...full of Irish wit, dystopian vision and musicality'. Craig went on to compare Keilty to Eoin Colfer, Derek Landy and Garret Carr. The Picture will be produced by Rocket Pictures' partners Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish.
"We are delighted to have secured this imaginative, fun and thrilling book and look forward to bringing it to the screen. We're sure the combination of a cowboy story in a fantastical world is a winning one." said David.
Rocket Pictures has recently released 3D animation movie Gnomeo & Juliet to worldwide success.
Elton and Leon want you to make their video
Saturday, March 19 2011
Elton John and Leon Russell are calling on you to create the official music video for "Hey Ahab," the first music video for their album, The Union.
Have you always wanted to produce and direct a music video? Well, now's your chance! Elton John and Leon Russell are asking fans to create a music video for their single, "Hey Ahab." If selected your video could be the official music video for "Hey Ahab." the most recent single from their album The Union. You will also win $5,000 cash.
Contest ends May 1, 2011. Enter Here: www.VEVO.com/go/HeyAhab (currently only accessible from inside the USA or Canada).
Elton inspired Debbie Harry to help charities
Saturday, March 19 2011
Punk icon Debbie Harry was inspired to throw herself into charity work after she saw Elton John using his fame to highlight good causes.
The Blondie singer performed alongside Richard Ashcroft and Jeff Beck at an all-star gig at London's Hmv Hammersmith Apollo in January 2011 to help U.K. charity Killing Cancer. And she now puts philanthropy at the top of her list of priorities after witnessing Elton's tireless work for Hiv and Aids projects.
Harry tells Britain's The Sun, "These things are important to my life now. I have the privilege of being able to get involved, so I do. I applaud people like Elton John, who have used their position to do so much good. I could really feel his power and see how effective it was in helping to highlight causes like Hiv/Aids and I thought I should get up off my fat a** and do something too."
Elton John & Leon Russell performed in New York City on March 16, 2011
Thursday, March 17 2011
Gregg Allman sat in with Elton John and Leon Russell at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 16, 2011.
Though billed as an Elton John show, Russell sat in for a third of the show as he did the two previous shows in March 2011. Allman emerged partway through the night to sing with Russell and Elton on “Gone To Shiloh.” The three musicians collaborated on the same song—which appears on the new Elton John/Leon Russell album The Union —last October in both Boston and New York during T Bone Burnett’s "Speaking Clock Revue." Burnett also produced Allman’s new solo album Low Country Blues.
Russell is in New York for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Allman—who enjoyed a night off from the Allman Brothers Band’s Beacon run—attended the show with his son Devon.
Elton introduced Davey Johnstone's beautiful daughter to the stage before playing "Crocodile Rock" explaining that tonight was her 16th birthday. She was a nervous wreck, but John Mahon stood behind her and even played the occasional percussion fill himself. Davey proudly pointed to her repeatedly through each chorus milking applause for her.
Following is the complete set list of the New York City show on March 16, 2011:
Elton and band
Funeral for a Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
Madman Across the Water
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
Elton and band with Leon
If It Wasn’t For Bad
Best Part of the Day
Gone To Shiloh (with Gregg Allman)
When Love Is Dying
Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
Dream Come True
Elton and band
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Take Me To The Pilot
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Candle in the Wind - (Solo)
Burn Down the Mission
Bennie and the Jets
Bitch is Back
Crocodile Rock (with Davey Johnstone's 16 daughter on percussion)
What we learned at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
Wednesday, March 16 2011
On March 14, 2011, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Leon Russel and others in a typically boozy, profanity-laced ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria that went two hours longer than scheduled. Here's what we learned.
As Elton John inducted Leon Russell, he told the story of how Russell had been his idol and had given him a spot on his tour when he was just starting out in the early 1970s. The next time he called him? 2009. Bad friend!
Elton had introduced his partner David Furnish, who is fifteen years younger than him, to Russell's music, which Furnish had downloaded to his iPod. Then one day in 2009, while shaving in Africa (these are crucial details), Elton borrowed Furnish's iPod and put on Leon Russell. "And I started to shave and I started to sob," said Elton. "That music took me back to one of the greatest times of my life." He found Russell's number and rang him up. He was still playing and still touring. They chatted for about five minutes, and when they hung up, Elton realized he wanted to make a record with Russell, so he called up T. Bone Burnett, whom he'd never met, and asked him if he'd produce it, which he said he would, and then called Russell back.
"I said, 'Listen, you haven't heard from me in 38 years and you get two phone calls in 40 minutes. Would you like to do a record?'" said Elton. What followed was what Elton describes as "one of the greatest years of my life, both musically and personally." He got to know the idol he never knew, and he got to watch Russell shake off the oppression of being a forgotten great talent. He was frail when he came into the studio," said Elton. "He had a five and a half hour brain operation. But he still came to the studio every day and played his part and sang his part until he got stronger. And suddenly, with the love from everyone in the studio and all the other peers who came to play tribute to him, he became strong.
"He came to remember things that he had forgotten. I think he was so tuned out because he had been kind of forgotten. And I was incensed that someone who could write all those great songs like 'Superstar,' 'This Masquerade,' 'Delta Lady,' and 'Song for You"'could be forgotten." In Russell's short speech, the only person he thanked was Elton. "Elton picked me up from a ditch on the side of the highway of life and he treated me like a king. All I can say is bless your heart, and hallelujah."
Elton makes gay cricket star fizz with pride
Tuesday, March 15 2011
Elton John treated Britain's first openly gay cricket star to a bottle of champagne in celebration of his 'coming out'.
Steven Davies braved a possible backlash from cricket fans when he revealed his true sexuality in February 2011, making him the sport's first openly gay player.
Davies has received support from his fellow players and the British public, and his joy of being accepted was topped up by the Rocket Man's kind gesture. In a post on his Twitter.com page, Davies writes, "Sir Elton John has just sent me champagne! Wow!"
Hall of Fame 2011: Elton pays tribute to his hero
Tuesday, March 15 2011
Appropriately, the 26th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions began March 14, 2011 with an eye cast firmly toward the past.
The evening's first inductee, Dr. John, who inductor John Legend described as "a living link to the New Orleans of Dixieland" – ran through a long list of those whose tutelage had made him who he was – a list that included New Orleans greats like Professor Longhair and Huey "Piano" Smith. After a few minutes, though, he thought the better of it, wryly and jokingly concluding, "If I didn't mention you – too bad! What's important is that music is a blessing."
The notion of music as a blessing was a recurring theme Monday night, with presenters repeatedly honoring the impact of the inductees. "Tonight is the culmination of an effort on my behalf to try to get this man recognized for his incredible achievements," said Elton John, seated next to Leon Russell in the press room before the ceremony began. "To see him here tonight is very emotional to me," he continued, "There is no finer musician out there. Tonight, I'm so proud of him."
Elton brought a moment of sweetness, recalling how rediscovering Leon Russell's music on a recent vacation moved him so deeply that he called Russell out of the blue, a conversation that resulted in their 2010 collaboration The Union. A deeply-moved Russell gave the evening's shortest acceptance speech, saying "About a year ago, Elton came and found me in a ditch at the side of the highway and he took me up to the hospital and treated me like a king."
Annie Lennox sticks up for Elton over Cowell's jibes
Sunday, March 13 2011
Annie Lennox has waded into this week’s war of words between Simon Cowell and Elton – and she doesn’t pull any punches.
Last week Cowell branded Elton ‘greedy’ for taking big bucks for private gigs. But when I caught up with Annie at the Women of the World festival she jumped to Elton’s defence. “Elton John’s foundation is the third top HIV/Aids organisation in the world. It’s ridiculous what was said. He obviously has no idea what Elton really does – none.”
Elton John & Leon Russell performed in Uncasville on March 11, 2011
Saturday, March 12 2011
Fan report by Joshua Thompson.
Sitting in the audience of the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena before the show, I could see Elton's piano, Nigel, Kim and John's set up and where the four back up singers were going to be. Then I noticed behind the singer's mics there was an incredible sight - a second grand piano. This could only mean one thing ... Leon would join Elton for the Union!
Elton start just 12 minutes late - very impressive for a casino crowd - and our setlist was underway. Elton introduced Leon as the "something that was missing" from his last stands on the West coast. He also announced Leon will also be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which drew a huge roar from the arena. The addition of Leon gave the set list a bit of shake up which was fun for the audience, and he sounded great tonight!
Following is the complete set list of the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena show on March 11, 2011:
Elton John supports Sheffield
Saturday, March 12 2011
Elton John has sent a message of support to Sheffield Eagles after hearing about their historic decision to wear a kit promoting an anti-homophobia message against Widnes Vikings on March 13, 2011.
Elton, currently in Los Angeles following his world-famous annual Oscars party, took time out of his schedule to applaud the efforts of Sheffield Eagles, LGBT History Month, Pride Sports and the Rugby Football League in standing up against homophobia in sport. "I am delighted to hear about Sheffield Eagles' initiative" said Elton. "I feel that an enormous step forward is being undertaken when Rugby League recognises the diversity of human sexuality. I applaud all those involved in this initiative. Best wishes and love."
Sheffield Eagles will take to the field at Bramall Lane, Sheffield on March 13, 2011 wearing a kit bearing the slogan "Homophobia: Tackle It!" - a first for professional sport. The specially made kit has been funded by LGBT History Month and Pride Sports with the assistance of the UCU, NUT and NASUWT unions.
George Michael mocks 'Grumpy' Elton
Saturday, March 12 2011
George Michael has accused Elton John of being "grumpy" but admits he still has respect for the legendary singer.
George Michael thinks Sir Elton John is like a "grumpy" old woman. The 'True Faith' singer - who duetted with the Elton on 1991's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" - accused Elton of getting increasingly angry as he grows older, comparing him with a foul-mouthed grandmother from a British comedy sketch show.
George said: "We all earn the right to get a little more grumpy as we get older - but he's getting terribly close to Nan territory, you know the Nan from Catherine Tate." However, the 47-year-old singer admitted that although he may not always see eye-to-eye to Elton, he will always respect him for being an inspiration.
He told Bauer Radio's In:Demand: "Elton can do no wrong because he did so much right for my life. He was one of my mentors in every way as a child who really wanted to write and sing. He will always have a special place regardless of our tiffs."
George - who recently admitted he has been free of drugs since serving four weeks of an eight-week prison sentence for driving under the influence of drugs in September 2010 - and Elton fell out after the 'Freedom' hitmaker criticised the star for trying to force him into seeking help for substance abuse problems.
Responding to Elton's urges for him to admit he has a problem, George said in 2009: "Elton will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, 'Please, please, help me, Elton. Take me to rehab.' It's not going to happen."
Silent film of historic John Lennon and Elton John N.Y. show surfaces
Thursday, March 10 2011
There have been audio recordings, both bootleg and legitimate, of former Beatle John Lennon's surprise appearance with Elton John in 1974 at Madison Square Garden, but here is the first known video footage of the show.
There's no sound, unfortunately, but it's fantastic it's finally out there.
Simon Cowell hits back at Elton John
Thursday, March 10 2011
He has been accused of ‘single-handedly’ ruining the music industry by his toughest critics. But X Factor impresario Simon Cowell was stung into action to defend complaints by Elton John over his almost complete monopoly on the charts - as he launched a withering attack on the singer.
The divisive star insisted Elton, who claimed that reality shows have ‘killed talent’, should spend his millions earned from private shows supporting young hopefuls – rather than criticising his TV programmes. He called claims that his artists and TV shows were ruining the music industry as ‘absolute rubbish.’
The 51-year-old music boss also spoke out in the light of recent comments made by Oasis creator Alan McGee, who accused reality contests of making it impossible for truly talented hopefuls to find success. His hackles rose during an interview with Piers Morgan, who told him: ‘Certain people out there, and you - you know, you’ve seen the criticism - will say that you have single handedly destroyed the music industry.’ Cowell interrupted him, saying: ‘What? Who said that?’ Morgan gave him the example of Alan McGee, adding: ‘What he said was, "The dominance of your shows in the music charts and the spin off effects makes it very hard for bands like Oasis now to come through."
But the multi-millionaire, who is in America to launch the US version of the X Factor, insisted: ‘Absolute rubbish. Rubbish. I mean, it has no affect at all. Look, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a top 100 or a top 200. You know, what you want is people back into stores buying music. I mean, how can that be a bad thing?’
He then hit back at Elton John, who last month called the state of British pop music ‘just awful’, and said that reality TV shows have ‘killed talent,’ adding: ‘Can any X Factor people cut the mustard?’ Elton even attacked X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, calling her music ‘c**p.’ Recording an interview for Morgan’s CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight, Cowell said: ‘Well, look. This is somebody who charges what - a million dollars a private gig? Two million dollars, you know? I don’t know whether he’s concerned about himself - maybe it is. But I -but -they always bleat on that we’re not giving other people a chance. And I always want to say to them, ‘I tell you what, you just made a million dollars off -- off your last private gig. Go and give it to a bunch of young musicians you care about, put them in the studio. Go and nurture them. Go and spend some time looking after them. Then I’ll buy your argument. ‘They’re only worried about themselves.’
Despite his attack on Elton, Cowell has still used the singer’s greatest hits on past series of the X Factor. The full interview will air on March 14, 2011 and Morgan said: ‘He talks fame, fortune, marriage…Cowell only booked for a 30-minute interview, but we got carried away and did the whole hour – it will show rare emotional side of TV’s Mr Nasty.’
Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow gets concert licence
Thursday, March 10 2011
Shrewsbury Town FC has been granted a premises licence which could help pave the way for more “world class” artists such as Elton John to perform at its stadium.
Officials at the Greenhous Meadow applied to Shropshire Council for the licence which would allow them to stage up to three concerts a year at the ground in Oteley Road. The closing date for the application was March 07, 2011. No objections were received by midnight, and the application was granted on March 8, 2011.
Ian Bebbington, commercial operations manager for Shrewsbury Town FC, said although the licence would give them more flexibility they were still unsure how many similar events to the Elton concert would be held in the future. He said: “This application would cut out the amount of administration work and in the future if we want to hold a Friday and Saturday night event it would cover it. The club only has a short window to stage anything like the Elton concert, basically the first two weeks of June. For us to do it in the future it would probably have to be a world class artist who is capable of filling the stadium with 17,000 people.”
Mr Bebbington said the club was not planning to become a major concert venue like the NEC. He said that the club was keen to ensure this summer’s concert on June 12, 2011 was a success. Mr Bebbington said that under a Section 106 agreement, signed when the club received planning permission for the stadium, it has to apply for temporary planning consent for such concerts. Elton’s concert at the Greenhous Meadow will be the star’s first in Shrewsbury.
Morrison: 'Elton John duet was crazy'
Thursday, March 10 2011
Matthew Morrison had professed that he was overjoyed to perform a duet with Elton John for his upcoming debut album.
The Glee star told Access Hollywood Livehosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover that collaborating with Elton was one of the most electrifying experiences of his life. "I was actually just listening to that track we did today… it's an epic song," he said.
The star continued: "It's [a cover of Elton's] 'Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters' and it kind of goes into 'Rocket Man', and I was listening to it, and just hearing Elton John's voice, and his voice fades out and my voice comes in, and I'm like, 'What world am I living in right now?' It's just, like, crazy."
Morrison further explained that the LP's first single 'Summer Rain' was inspired by a particularly fond moment with an former lover. "It's kind of about making love on a roof," he remarked. "I wanted to capture a moment in time that I had with an ex-girlfriend of mine. It was such a beautiful moment - it was about being young and in New York. It was something when I'm 65 I'm going to look back on and be like, 'That was an awesome moment'. It's one of those memory burns you have and I really wanted to make a song out of it. It was actually the first song I wrote on the album."
The singer, who has scored two US platinum-selling albums with his Glee castmates, is to release his self-titled solo record in May 2011.
Elton denies reports Lady Gaga will be son`s godmother
Wednesday, March 9 2011
Elton has denied the reports that Lady Gaga will be the godmother of his son Zachary.
Speaking to UK newspaper Sunday Mirror, he said: "There are no plans to add to the brood - we're getting used to having one baby. And Lady Gaga isn't godmother - that's just speculation - we haven't even decided on anything like that yet."
Before the Oscars, where Elton hosted his annual AIDS Foundation Oscars Viewing Party, took place, the new family took a holiday in Hawaii. He said: "We got back Saturday morning from our first family holiday and it was fantastic. Zachary went on the beach, in the pool and on a hike with us. It was fantastic and he just loved it."
Shrewsbury Elton concert safety fears allayed
Wednesday, March 9 2011
Bosses at Shrewsbury Town FC on March 8, 2011 moved to reassure the public after health and safety concerns were raised about Elton’s big summer concert at the stadium.
Councillor Jon Tandy, Shropshire Council ward member for Sutton, revealed that he had called for a bid for planning permission for the concert to be discussed by the authority’s planning committee. He said he had “big” concerns about issues including parking, pedestrian safety and disruption to local residents ahead of the event, which is predicted to attract a crowd of more than 17,000 to the club’s Greenhous Meadow on June 12, 2011.
The planning application will be discussed by the council’s central planning committee at a meeting on March 10, 2011. But Ian Bebbington, the commercial operations manager for Shrewsbury Town FC, today said that the club was working on robust health and safety measures which would be included within the planning conditions.
He said: “Initially it’s going to the planning committee this week but we also have to obtain a safety certificate through the safety advisory group which is made up of a number of different partners including the local authority and emergency services. We also have to produce a health and safety management plan which is being worked up now. The football club is working with the promoter in preparing a detailed management plan which will form part of a condition of any planning approval,” he added.
Mr Bebbington said a traffic management plan for the event would also have to be ratified by a liaison committee before the concert could go ahead. He said: “All of the concerns will be addressed by the safety management plan.” The planning application for temporary use of the stadium between June 5 and 18, 2011 for operations to facilitate the preparation/staging and de-rigging of a music concert is being recommended for approval by council officers ahead of the March 10, 2011 meeting.
Health and safety concerns over Elton Shrewsbury concert
Tuesday, March 8 2011
The brakes have been put on a bid to rush through planning permission for Elton John’s big concert in Shrewsbury later this year – by a councillor who on March 7, 2011 claimed he had “serious” health and safety concerns.
The sell-out concert, which is predicted to attract a crowd of more than 17,000, is due to take place at Shrewsbury Town’s Greenhous Meadow on June 12, 2011. But Councillor Jon Tandy said on March 7, 2011 he had “big concerns” about issues including parking, pedestrian safety and disruption to local residents.
Plans were due to be given the stamp of approval by officers on March 11, 2011 – but Councillor Tandy’s action means they will be brought before the council’s planning committee on March 10, 2011 as an urgent matter.
Simon Cowell wants Elton to run his X Factor nursery
Saturday, March 5 2011
Simon Cowell has joked that he would only hire Elton John, if he wanted to run his new creche on The X Factor.
Elton has publicly criticised the reality TV show on many occasions and when asked whether he could overlook his rants and hire Elton for his new American series, Cowell told Access Hollywood: “If we’ve got somebody with kids, he’s more than welcome to come along and run the nursery. So if you’re watching, Elton, there’s another job. I’m serious. He can do it.”
Cowell also confirmed that not only has he spoken to Paula Abdul about returning to his side, but admitted that she is on a ‘smaller group’ of stars he is considering for his all new judging panel. However, negotiations are still ongoing and Simon is not yet near his final decision. He said: “[A few days ago], we met somebody who I’ve never met before in my life, who I just loved. And that’s why it’s good to kind of delay the process [of selecting the judges].”
He added: “It’s not about necessarily the TV show per se, it’s people. You genuinely gotta trust that they’re gonna be able to do the job you’re paying them to do. And like I said, a hit-maker who worked in America and has had experience, I think is crucial to this panel as well.”
Other stars in the running according to the music mogul are Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger and George Michael. He previously admitted that he had also spoken to Jessica Simpson and Usher.
Elton John film to open NY's Tribeca Festival
Wednesday, March 2 2011
A documentary about the making of Elton John's album "The Union" will open the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2011, with Elton marking the occasion by giving a free outdoor performance and screening.
Director Cameron Crowe's nonfiction film, also titled "The Union" after the collaborative album Elton made with his musical hero and songwriter Leon Russell, will kick off the festival in a world premiere screening and performance on April 20, 2011 in Lower Manhattan, organizers said March 2, 2011.
"To have Elton, whose music transcends generations, perform after (the screening) is an extraordinary gift to our Festival and more specifically the downtown community," said Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded the festival with her husband Craig Hatkoff and actor Robert De Niro.
The opening night plans marked a change for the festival, one of the most prominent in the United States, after recent years in which Tribeca featured an uptown glitzy private premiere with feature films like last year's "Shrek Forever After." The festival runs from April 20 to May 1, 2011.
Crowe's documentary follows the writing and recording of the collaboration between Elton and Leon Russell for the album, which was released late last year. The two musicians had not spoken in more than 38 years before making the record. Crowe, the "Jerry Maguire" and "Vanilla Sky" director, also has a Pearl Jam documentary due out this year as well as his next feature by the end of the year, "We Bought A Zoo."
Other films picked for the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival, known for its documentaries more than fictional features, were expected to be announced in coming weeks. The festival was founded in 2002 to spur economic and cultural activity in Lower Manhattan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. It has screened over 1,100 films from more than 80 countries since 2002, attracted more than 3 million people to its screenings and generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City, organizers said.
Elton will perform following the free, outdoor screening to thank New Yorkers for their support of the festival during the past decade, added organizers.
Elton rips Disney with rant over 'Gnomeo and Juliet'
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Elton has blasted Disney for not backing Gnomeo and Juliet to the hilt -- and then not ringing with congratulations after the animated movie became a box office winner.
“We fought resistance from the (Disney) studio for so long, and to be honest with you, the film has taken $75 million in America, and we haven’t had a message of congratulations from anyone within the studio,” Elton let rip on the CTV daytime talker The Marilyn Dennis Show on March 1, 2011.
Gnomeo, a Disney holdover, this past weekend grabbed the No. 2 box office spot in its third weekend in release, raking in $13.4 million for a total take of $74.3 million, according to Rentrak. “Gnomeo and Juliet took us eleven years to make. We defied all the odds and all of the people at Disney who said, “this wouldn’t be a hit,” Elton said on air with one of his legendary outbursts. “And it’s the biggest hit, but it could have been a bigger hit if Disney got behind it more,” he added.
The animated Gnomeo was produced by London-based Rocket Pictures, run by John, Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish. Miramax financed the picture, which was animated at the Starz Animation studio in Toronto. Elton said Disney is red-faced over Gnomeo overcoming the odds to succeed at the multiplex. “They’re so ashamed, and they should be ashamed of themselves –they’re so afraid to congratulate us because John Lasseter of Pixar did not want us to make this movie that we still haven’t had a message of congratulations or well done,” he added.
Elton: I am going to the Royal Wedding after all
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Elton John and David Furnish have joined a handful of European royals – and Kate Middleton's mailman – on the exclusive list of invitees to the royal wedding.
Despite Elton's earlier insistence that he wouldn't snag a spot at the April 29, 2011 ceremony, "We do have an invitation," he tells Canada's CTV. "I’ve been trying to be discreet."
He also shares thoughts on the bride-to-be, noting that Kate "is Diana in personality. She is very discreet, she is a very beautiful girl. They have been together a long time and I think she has handled the pressure so much."
As for his take on Prince William, Elton says he believes the young royal has "one of the hardest jobs in the world … the scrutiny he will be under." But he also thinks William is well-equipped to take on another demanding role.
"I hope [William] becomes King at an early age," says the British singer. "I think we need young people like him to lead. I think he will be a tremendous king – not that Charles won't, but I think William will be … tremendous."
Elton also wasn't shy about sharing his feelings on William's choice to give Kate his mother's sapphire engagement ring. "It is none of my business," he said, "but I thought it was a little odd."
Let's hope he leaves that last comment off the reply card.
Elton: America needs to expand sex education
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Elton John did more than just host his annual Oscars viewing party on February 27, 2011, he used the star-studded occasion as an opportunity to raise money for his AIDS Foundation, and voice his thoughts on America’s approach to sex education – or lack thereof.
“The stigma hasn't gone away after 30 years, and young people are still getting infected. We can't get to the young people in this country because it's very conservative and you can't get into schools to teach people about sex. We can in Africa, but we can't seem to over here,” Elton told FOX411’s Pop Tarts at his lavish Beverly Hills party. “With young people, the infection rates rise and until you inform people and make this disease a non-stigmatized thing, you're never going to have any change and we're batting our heads against a brick wall. We need to get into schools.”
However, Elton is determined that the money raised at the annual bash will go far in building awareness and saving lives. “It's a huge pay day for us, it's the biggest fundraiser in America – $4 million dollars - and that saves a lot of people's lives,” he continued. “And it helps to educate a lot of people who feel marginalized, people in prison, African Americans, and gay people in the Caribbean. We're on their side so we hope to make their lives a little easier.”
But on a slightly different note, chances are Elton was a little disappointed that “The King’s Speech,” which stems from his British homeland, took home the coveted Golden Statue for Best Motion Picture. “'The Social Network’ is my favorite, because it's about now. There are some really good films out there but ‘The Social Network’ was the best film,” he added.
Elton and David attend "Billy Elliot" opening in Toronto
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Elton John and David Furnish took a break from diaper duty on March 1, 2011 to attend the Canadian opening of "Billy Elliot the Musical."
The power couple, who became parents to a baby boy last Christmas Day, were among the stars who walked the red carpet at the Canon Theatre. "For me it's a dream come true," said David, who was raised in Toronto.
Elton wrote the music for the 10-time Tony Award winning show, about a British boy whose father doesn't understand his desire to become a dancer. On March 1, 2011, the singer said he will encourage his son to do whatever he wants. "We would never encourage our son to do anything he didn't want to do. And if he wanted to do something that was totally alien to what I do then fantastic," said Elton "Nine weeks of fatherhood has been the best thing that's ever happened to us."
"Billy Elliot" is based on the uplifting 2000 film that earned three Oscar nominations. Stephen Daldry, who directed the film, also helms the stage show that debuted to critical acclaim in London in 2005. David first came up with the idea for the stage musical after watching the "Billy Elliot" film with John at the Cannes Film Festival. He said Elton was in tears because the story mirrored his own personal life so closely.
Cesar Corrales, Myles Erlick, Marcus Pei and J.P. Viernes rotate in the role of Billy in the Toronto production that started preview performances February 1, 2011.
Alberta-raised Kate Hennig co-stars as dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson — a role she also played in the Broadway show. Daldry and David wanted to bring "Billy Elliot the Musical" to Toronto before Broadway, because they felt the story would have a strong cultural connection here. But several issues stood in the way, including theatrical availability, logistics and budget. Producers also needed to develop a support system in Canada for the young leads, who go through intensive training before taking on the role.
Among those in attendance at the premiere were "Canada AM" host Seamus O'Regan, sportscaster Brian Williams and "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" judge Tre Armstrong.
Irish artist depicts Elton John breastfeeding
Tuesday, March 1 2011
An Irish artist who painted the Pope conducting a gay marriage has depicted Elton John breastfeeding his new baby son.
Donegal-born Kevin Sharkey said he didn’t set out to offend anyone with the image and hoped the singer would see the funny side. He said he was inspired by Elton and civil partner David Furnish having baby Zachary, adding: “It’s set off a new era of gay men having kids. What Elton and David are doing is very admirable.”
According to the Daily Mail, he said: “I must admit I did have a little laugh to myself while I was doing it but I know Elton has got a good sense of humour.”
Mr Sharkey has attracted controversy before over his work, most notably for his 2009 image of Katie Price merged with Moors murderer Myra Hindley. Last year’s image of the Pope conducting a gay wedding was inspired by the Catholic leader criticising homosexuality.
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk in June 2010, Mr Sharkey called the Pope’s remarks “an outrage and a disgrace”. He said: “What a load of old bollocks. Preaching intolerance is a dangerous thing to do. That comes down onto the streets – drunk thugs kicking the f**k out of ‘queer f**kers’.”
Is Elton John finally heading to ‘Glee’?
Tuesday, March 1 2011
Elton John is one coffee cup closer to appearing on “Glee,” according to Jane Lynch.
“Did you press Elton to join Glee?” Access Hollywood asked Jane at 19th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 27, 2011. “I did. I said, ‘You should be on it!’ And he said he and Ryan [Murphy, ‘Glee’s’ co-creator] just had coffee or something and they talked about that, so that would be really fun.”
Later in the night, Matthew Morrison too said he was aware that the two sat down to discuss a possible visit to the “Glee” set by the “Tiny Dancer” singer. “He and Ryan Murphy just sat down and had a conversation about it,” Matthew said on his way into the Vanity Fair Oscar party. “I hope that [happens. It] would be awesome!”
In the meantime, Gwyneth Paltrow is set to reprise her role as substitute teacher Holly Holliday on March 8, 2011, and she covers Prince classic “Kiss.” ”[I] can’t wait to see it,” Matthew said of his number, which puts him up close and personal with Gwyneth. “I was so excited. I haven’t seen it yet, but we did a tango to that song. [It] doesn’t really blend to a tango, but we did our best. It was great to have her on the show again and she’s such a blessing whenever we get to work with her.”
Elton: 'Don't Count Taylor Out'
Tuesday, March 1 2011
Elton has urged fans not to worry too much about Dame Elizabeth Taylor as she battles ill health - because she's "a fighter" who always bounces back.
The Hollywood icon has been resting at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles since her hospitalisation earlier in February 2011 for congestive heart failure treatment. Taylor's representative insists the actress, who turned 79 on February 27, 2011, is making good progress in her health crisis and Elton is confident his old pal will return stronger than ever.
He tells America's Today show, "I'm sorry she's sick, I hope she gets better. She's a fighter. She's been down before. Don't ever count Elizabeth out. She's one hell of a lady." And Elton has credited Taylor with inspiring him to continue hosting his annual AIDS fundraisers, which have raised millions for charity since the singer launched his foundation in 1992.
He says, "Without Elizabeth we wouldn't be doing all this. She got us all off our backsides and was the forerunner of all this. I can't tell you how much I love her, how much she means to me."
Spelling makes Elton John "twins" error
Tuesday, March 1 2011
Tori Spelling mistakenly declared that she wanted to schedule a playdate for her children with Elton John's "twins".
Spelling and husband Dean McDermott met Elton and David at Elton's Oscar viewing party. Following the meeting, Spelling tweeted: "O-M-G! Sir Elton John just came ovr 2 R table &talked 2 me! WOW. I congratulated him&David on the twins Is it wrong 2 hope 4 a playdate? (sic)"
After a number of followers pointed out that Elton and David only have one child, Spelling quickly posted: "YES yes. Oops! Well I just said 'Congratulations' to Sir E. Good thing I didn't completely put my foot in my mouth."
McDermott also tweeted a photo of the couple's meeting with Elton and David. He added: "OMG. Just met Sir Elton John. Such a nice guy. He leaned on my shoulder to talk to T. That's one for the history books." Spelling and McDermott have two children together, Liam and Stella.
Guy Babylon’s ‘Las Vegas Twister’ video released on iTunes
Tuesday, March 1 2011
The only original music video by the late Guy Babylon, Elton John’s acclaimed keyboardist and arranger for 21 years, has been released on iTunes.com, and can now be downloaded by fans for the first time since it was produced in 2008.
“Las Vegas Twister,” a fast-paced, multi-instrument tune with an upbeat country flavor, is a fitting tribute to Babylon’s diverse talent as a composer, musician and visual artist. He not only wrote the music, but directed the video and performed all instruments, including keyboard, piano, autoharp, castlebar, drums, melodica and vibes.
“It started out as a simple idea, and just grew,” said Babylon’s wife, Kathy, who released the video on what would have been the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary on February 27, 2011. “At first, he was experimenting with the autoharp, which he was teaching himself to play, but then he started adding other instruments, which inspired the full video.”
Babylon did much of the recording in hotel rooms, while touring with Elton John, and then finished the final mix in his Los Angeles recording studio. He surprised Kathy with it, for her birthday. “I was completely blown away,” she said. “I couldn't believe it. I was surprised that he put himself in the video, because he was always so shy. But the way he did it, you can see that it’s all about the music, all the little nuances and camera angles, having four things going all at once. Whenever he did something, it was always 100 percent.”
Sadly, Babylon died less than a year later, on September 2, 2009, after suffering a heart attack. Elton John eulogized him as “…one of the most brilliant musicians I ever knew; a true genius.”
Since 1988, Babylon appeared in 1,351 concerts with the Elton John Band and performed on many albums and movie soundtracks, including “The Lion King” and “The Road to El Dorado.” He also produced the original cast recording of John’s Broadway musical “Aida,” for which he won a Grammy award, and was the musical arranger for the musical “Lestat.” More recently, he collaborated on music for the animated motion picture “Gnomeo and Juliet,” which Elton John, who executive produced the film, dedicated to his friend in the closing credits.
The “Las Vegas Twister” video is available for download at iTunes. Other music by Guy Babylon is available through his official Web site.
19th Annual EJAF Academy Awards Viewing Party raised nearly $4 million
Tuesday, March 1 2011
The 19th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party hosted by Elton John and David Furnish raised nearly $4 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The gala, which took place on February 27, 2011, at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, was co-sponsored by Chopard and Jo & Raffy Manoukian. Attendees included Sir Ben Kingsley, Heidi Klum & Seal, Jamie Foxx, Steven Tyler, Zac Levi, Sharon Stone, Matthew Morrison, Paul Rudd, Paz Vega, Claire Danes & Hugh Dancy, Ashley Tisdale, Baz Luhrmann, Emma Stone, Smokey Robinson, Quincy Jones, Chace Crawford, Hayden Panettierre, Kelly & Sharon Osbourne, Dave Annable, Cee Lo Green, Chris Colfer, Eric Stonestreet, Jane Lynch, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, John Waters, Miranda Cosgrove, Serena Williams, Joel McHale, Rashida Jones, Vanessa Hudgens, Taye Diggs, Rufus Wainwright, Natasha Henstridge and Tori Spelling, among many others.
Guests arrived at the Academy Awards Viewing Party for cocktails 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, supported by Los Angeles-based Crumble Catering, prepared an innovative menu with his classic French styling. The menu included seared beef tenderloin with charcoal oil, a crispy bacon and goat cheese soup, and an apple tart garnished with orange creme fraiche and caramel syrup.
The dinner was followed by a lively auction conducted by Jamie Nivens of Sotheby's. Auction items included a five-night stay in Elton John and David Furnish's private Venice residence, which sold for $150,000; and a Taylor Swift concert package including tickets and a meet-and-greet with the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, which sold for $50,0000; in-home cooking class with Chef Ludo Lefebvre, which sold for $20,000.
Following the auction, Florence + The Machine took the stage to perform several songs including her hit "The Dog Days are Over". Elton John joined Florence Welch onstage to perform "Tiny Dancer" and "You Got the Love".
2011 marks the 30th year since HIV/AIDS was first observed by physicians in American patients, and while tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of this terrible disease, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. 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 Elton John, showing their support for the Foundation and this worthy cause.
Elton John to host 'Saturday Night Live'
Tuesday, March 1 2011
Elton will also perform with Leon Russell as the show's musical guest, marking his first time back on the 'SNL' stage since 1982.
Elton John will play double duty on April 2, 2011 when he hosts Saturday Night Live and appears as the show's musical guest with Leon Russell. It will be his first time back on the SNLstage since 1982, when he performed the songs "Empty Garden" and "Ball And Chain."
The booking was revealed at Elton's annual Oscar viewing party, held February 27, 2011 at the Pacific Design Center. The swank bash included a live auction to benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation. Among the items offered was VIP access for two to SNL's April 2, 2011 show and cast after-party, courtesy of Lorne Michaels. The winning bid came in at $75,000.
Academy Awards aside, Elton reminded the crowd of 1,000 that he and partner David Furnish were also celebrating a movie feat that night: Gnomeo & Juliet nabbing the top spot at the weekend box office in its third week out. Said Elton, who wrote the music for the film, which David produced: "I never thought I'd be coming to our Oscar party having a No. 1 movie, but it's fantastic."