As part of his global effort to raise awareness for and to end HIV/AIDS, Sir Elton John will perform on IDOL GIVES BACK, airing Wednesday, April 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX, on behalf of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck & Joss Stone and Mary J. Blige & the All-Star Band will also perform.
In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has joined IDOL GIVES BACK as a not-for-profit partner on the charity special.
Iconic superstar Sir Elton John has become a legend since forming his first band in 1961 and continues to sell out concerts all over the world. In 1992 in the U.S., and then in 1993 in the U.K., John established the Elton John AIDS Foundation to support innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS and direct care and support services for people living with the disease. John’s collaboration with Tim Rice on the music for “The Lion King” garnered him a Grammy Award and an Academy Award in 1994. In 2004, John and his band began a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for “The Red Piano,” which ran until April 2009 and totaled 241 shows. In 2006, he released the autobiographical album, “The Captain & The Kid,” the sequel to “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.” In 2007, John released “Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits,” a collection of 18 classic hit songs. Also that year, for the first time ever, John’s entire catalogue of nearly 500 tracks (90 singles and 32 albums) became available to download legally. John will be on the road in 2010 with Billy Joel and with Ray Cooper, as well as with his band, including Bob Birch, Kim Bullard, Davey Johnstone, John Mahon and Nigel Olsson. He will also be in the studio recording a new album in collaboration with Bernie Taupin and Leon Russell.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In an interview with host Ryan Seacrest, Bill and Melinda Gates will describe their commitment to improving health around the world, and share why they are so optimistic that support for IDOL GIVES BACK can make a difference and save lives.
The brainchild of Simon Fuller, IDOL GIVES BACK has made history by raising over $140 million for charity to date. This year’s special celebration will help raise awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities, including Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation.
As previously announced, News Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola, AT&T and ExxonMobil will return as corporate sponsors of IDOL GIVES BACK and will generously donate to the historic Emmy Award-winning television event. Viewers will once again be able to make donations during and following the show. In addition, the week’s voting results will be revealed, sending one of the finalists home.
Tickets are currently on sale for the IDOL GIVES BACK celebration at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and can be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Net proceeds from ticket sales will go to the IDOL GIVES BACK Foundation.
Additionally, viewers can visit www.idolgivesback.org now and join the “Help Me Give Back” program, an online initiative that empowers individuals and teams to help raise money for IDOL GIVES BACK. The website also allows access to an online auction featuring one-of-a-kind items such as an AMERICAN IDOL Season Ticket Pass, a Meet & Greet with Simon Cowell, a pair of autographed sneakers from Ellen DeGeneres and more. Net proceeds will benefit the IDOL GIVES BACK Foundation, and the auction runs until 11:59 PM PT on Tuesday, April 20.
AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America. The series features host Ryan Seacrest and judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson.
Visit americanidol.com for more information on IDOL GIVES BACK in addition to exclusive videos, photos, special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.