Elton John celebrated 25 years of humanitarian work into the global AIDS crisis at his star-studded AIDS Foundation gala this week, which saw some spectacular musical performances, exciting guest appearances and an auction which raised thousands for the charity. The singer also spoke out about ridding the world of the damning stigma of this disease.

Elton John at the AIDS Foundation GalaElton John at the AIDS Foundation Gala

The 25th Anniversary gala of Elton John's AIDS Foundation took place at Manhattan's Gothic Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Tuesday evening (November 7th 2017), with a number of famous faces joining in the celebrations including Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Clinton, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Sharon Stone.

'I'm very proud of the foundation and what we achieve, how we work, how we raise money, how we spend it and how we don't waste it', Elton John told The Hollywood Reporter. 'But hopefully in another 10 years, this will be over. 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.'

Since the EJAF was founded in 1992, it has raised over $385 million to help people in crisis in more than 30 countries. Knowing that 98% of all donations go straight towards helping the problem is one of that main factors that encourage people to dip into their pockets. 

'When we started, it was two people around a kitchen table in Atlanta', he continued. 'I wanted it to become a great foundation, [and] we've appointed great people to run it, we've kept it small, we don't have people driving cars, we keep our overheads at three percent, and we pay for everything. People give us money because they know it's actually going to get out there.'

During this event alone, the AIDS Foundation raised around $4.4 million. That included an auction whereby a portrait of Elton, entitled 'Elton John With Top Hat', by Herb Ritts went for $95,000. Also, a visit to thte 'Will & Grace' taping plus a meet-and-greet was sold for $45,000, a Bvlgari necklace went for $70,000, and 'Saturday Night Live' tickets took $55,000.

Other guests that were present for the celebrations were Alec Baldwin, Billy Joel, Sting, Diane Lane, Ethan Hawke, Glenn Close, Padma Lakshmi, Elton's husband David Furnish, and Jeanne White who is the mother of 1980s HIV awareness poster boy Ryan White - and someone who Elton helped immensely during their ordeal.

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Plus, Aretha Franklin was there to perform some stellar hits such as 'I Say a Little Prayer' and a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water', while Heather Headley - who originally played Nala in Broadway's 'The Lion King' - delighted guests with a performance of the Elton John-penned 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight'.