Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS over the years, and established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in 1992 to try to stem the destruction the disease causes around the world.

Every year the music legend opens his house to hundreds of celebrities and invited guests for a themed “White Tie and Tiara” ball to raise money for the foundation, and also holds post-Grammy and -Oscar parties as fundraisers.

“I have lost many dear friends to this terrible disease,” he said on the EJAF website. “In the mid-1980s, I began channeling my grief into efforts to help raise money for the pioneering charitable organizations that formed during those dark, grim years to fund AIDS research and provide vital services to people with HIV/AIDS.”

Since its founding, EJAF has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries around the globe through prevention and education, elimination of prejudice and discrimination, and providing services to people living with the disease.

The singer also gives large amounts of his personal wealth to charity. In 2004 he donated over $43 million to organizations around the world, making him the most generous person in music for that year – a title he retains year after year. In 2008 he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho, to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas, and in 1997 he raised $40 million for charity through sales of Candle In The Wind, the single released following the death of Princess Diana.

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