After a whirlwind couple of weeks, Elton John is taking a moment to give thanks and get a conversation started.
In a new interview with E! News, the “Rocket Man” singer commemorated World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) by looking at the road ahead in HIV/AIDS research. “We need to keep up the energy, momentum and conversation around HIV so it doesn’t feel like something in the past,” he said. “At the Elton John AIDS Foundation, we’re committed to advocating with local partners and governments and big campaigns to draw attention and end AIDS by 2030.”
John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 as a means of funding medical research into eradicating HIV and AIDS. In the 30 years since, the organization has grown to become one of the largest independent AIDS charity organizations in the world.
“It’s astounding to remember that the Foundation I started at my kitchen table in Atlanta 30 years ago is now an internationally recognized organization for HIV care and prevention,” Elton said. “To witness and be a part of the growth of the Foundation has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”
In honor of World AIDS Day, luxury fashion brand Saks Fifth Avenue announced their new partnership with John’s foundation. Along with producing live events and a merchandise collection for the new venture, Saks also donated $1 million to the Rocket Fund, one of the foundation’s campaigns to spread resources and awareness around the globe. “This campaign will expand and mobilize our mission for the rights and health of everyone, everywhere, and bring us closer to ending the AIDS epidemic and the stigma associated with it,” John said.
The news comes just weeks after John’s final U.S. show, which was streamed live on Disney+. During his “farewell” performance, John featured special guests like Brandi Carlile, Dua Lipa and Kiki Dee, before thanking his American fans for their constant support throughout his five-decade career. “I want to thank you because you made me,” he said. “Without America, I wouldn’t be here. So, thank you for all the years of love and generosity and loyalty.”
Check out John’s full interview with E! News here.