(ABC News) – Elton John’s annual Academy Awards Viewing Party held Sunday night in L.A. was another success — raising a whopping $5.1 million for his AIDS Foundation.
It was the 22nd year that Elton has hosted the event and this year’s star-studded crowd included Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Heidi Klum, Jane Fonda, Ozzy, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, Kim Kardashian and sisters Khloe and Kourtney, Whoopi Goldberg, Sheryl Crow, Steven Tyler, Taylor Swift, Josh Groban, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Neil Patrick Harris, Eric McCormack, Jane Seymour, Robert De Niro, and other A-list celebrities.
Guests dined on a lavish five-course dinner from a menu created by Gordon Ramsay and participated in a silent auction for which the premiums included a piano signed by Elton and Bernie Taupin, a print of Elton and John Lennon taken in 1974 and signed by the photographer, five days at Steven Tyler’s home in Hawaii and both tickets to and a backstage tour of the upcoming Broadway musical Hedwig & the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris.
Speaking to reporters on the red carpet, Steven Tyler explained why he’d auction off the chance for a stranger to spend time at his home.
“AIDS is a terrible disease and I just love Elton so much that once you put those two together and I saw what he was doing for the foundation, I thought I’d love to come to the party and be a piece of it,” he said. “I gave the house away last year…figured I’d do it again. It’s my happy place. I love it there, and it makes my heart feel good.”
Of course, there was also music at the event: Ed Sheeran, one of Elton’s proteges, took the stage to perform songs like “Lego House” and “The A Team,” and then joined the music legend for a duet on his classic, “Candle in the Wind.”
On the red carpet, Sheeran noted that every star who attended ponied up $10,000 for a ticket, telling reporters, “To be honest, you get a lot of rich people who don’t know what to do with their money, so if they can throw their money in the right direction, it’s a good thing.”
Addressing his guests at the event, Elton said: “Look at the thousands of people you’ve helped tonight. The film that just won, [12 Years a Slave], was about liberating people from an awful life of slavery. And what we’re trying to do is to liberate people from the stigma and the disease of AIDS, and your generosity tonight has been amazing and hopefully, it will continue to be amazing.”