Elton John is “overjoyed” to host his Oscars viewing party this year after missing out on last year’s festivities.
The singer unveiled plans for the 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, announcing he will return as host alongside husband David Furnish.
Actors Eric McCormack and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez will serve as this year’s special guests, while British singer Rina Sawayama has been tapped to perform. Elton and Rina previously teamed up for the song “Chosen Family,” which was featured on his compilation album The Lockdown Sessions.
More celebrity guests will be announced in the weeks ahead.
“I am overjoyed to be reuniting with old and new friends on one of my favourite nights of the year, especially after missing last year’s viewing party due to an unfortunate clash of schedules with my ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour,” he said in a statement. Last year marked the first time Sir Elton was unable to attend his own viewing part.
Elton’s statement continued, “As always, I am so appreciative of every attendee, donor and sponsor who continues to support the Foundation’s work across the globe in the fight to end AIDS. With such meaningful generosity, we can make a healthier and more inclusive world.”
Furnish added in his own statement, “With rising new HIV infections and the tragic and needless loss of lives in many parts of the world, the support of our work is more crucial than ever.”
Elton’s viewing parties began in 1992 and so far have raised close to $100 million for his foundation, which aims to destigmatize AIDS, fund treatments and find a cure.
This year’s celebration will be held Sunday, March 12.
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