The Los Angeles Dodgers made a $1 million donation to the Elton John AIDS Foundation last night during the penultimate show of his final North American tour.
John was the attraction for three sold-out shows at Dodger Stadium, concluding tonight and supposedly ending the 75-year-old’s touring days in North America (he will still do European dates, and we’ve heard vows of retirement before).
John gave a heartfelt thank-you to Los Angeles on Saturday night. He acknowledged that his career took off in Los Angeles, thanks to a magical night at the Troubadour. He thanked former Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn for chronicling that show, and also mentioned his iconic 1975 date at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as one of the reasons he wanted to conclude his run in Los Angeles at the same venue.
“I am thrilled to play my three final shows of my Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in the US at Dodger Stadium, an iconic venue which has meant so much to me and my career,” he said in a statement.
Dodgers Chairman and principal owner Mark Walter and tennis legend, activist, and Dodgers coowner, Billie Jean King joined John on stage to present the donation at Saturday’s show.
“Beyond the obvious impact and joy of his music, Elton has been a social leader in fostering LGBTQ acceptance and equality and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS through the Elton John AIDS Foundation,” said Walter. “We at the Dodgers share Elton’s commitment to community, equality and service and are pleased to be able to support the work of the foundation. Billie Jean and I thank Elton for all he has achieved and congratulate him on his iconic career.”
The Elton John AIDS Foundation was established in 1992 and is one of the leading independent AIDS organizations in the world. The Foundation’s mission is simple: an end to the AIDS epidemic.