On Saturday, April 12, 2014 stars and athletes from around the country converged on the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for Muhammad Ali's 20th Anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night.
GRAMMY Award winning superstar of country music Reba McEntire returned for her ninth year as emcee and announced that Celebrity Fight Night would become international celebrating its next event in Italy.
The Phoenix Boys Choir kicked off the night with a rendition of the National Anthem. International superstar Michael Buble, entertainment icon Robert De Niro, and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria, were honored with the 2014 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Billy Crystal were on hand to present to this year’s honorees.
Following the awards guests were treated to a host of performances under the direction of the multiple GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and producer David Foster, who returned for his 15th consecutive year as the evening’s Musical Director. Performances opened with The Band Perry who sang “If I Die Young,” and “Better Dig Too,” followed by Kenny Rogers who sang “The Gambler,” and “We’ve Got Tonight” for the crowd. Ronnie Dunn sang “Red Dirt Road” and “Boot Scoot Boogie.” McEntire took the stage again to perform duets with Kenny Rogers singing “Islands” and Ronnie Dunn singing “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.” Additional performances included, Caroline Kole, Jonathan Antoine, and a compilation of David Foster’s best hits.
Michael Bublé brought the crowd to their feet, closing out the evening with an incredible performance including “Feeling Good,” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” and “Save the Last Dance.” Bublé surprised the crowd with a humorous performance of Christmas songs from his best-selling holiday album.
The black tie event also featured cocktails, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items. The live auction featured a space flight experience onboard the XCOR Lynx, rocketing up to 200,000 feet in five minutes to suborbital space. The two highest selling live auction items of the night were a private dinner at the home of Reba McEntire and a special evening featuring dinner with Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Joe Torre at De Niro’s Locanda Verde in New York—each dinner was sold twice for $500,000. Celebrity Fight Night XX raised a total of $8 million benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities. Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised $95 million in 20 years.
Additional celebrity guests included Yank Barry, Bob Bondurant, Calais Campbell, Michael Carbajal, John Corbett, Yolanda Foster, Jim Higgins, Steve Keim, Nancy Lieberman, Nick Lowery, Harvey Mackay, Sam Moore, Lute Olson, Melissa Peterman, Chris Rich, Ralph Sampson, Richard Sherman, Mayor Greg Stanton, Terrell Suggs and many more.