On Saturday night, event chair and host Barbara Davis and co-chair Dana Davis led a star-studded line-up of talent for the 2020 Carousel of Hope Ball, put on by the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, which raised over $1 Million for clinical care and diabetes research for the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.
In what was an extraordinary celebration of the illustrious history of this event, guests who tuned in were treated to once-in-a-lifetime performances by Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, Deborah Cox, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Cynthia Erivo, David Foster, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Gladys Knight, Adam Lambert, Barry Manilow, Blake Shelton, Sam Smith, Gwen Stefani, Sir Rod Stewart, Pia Toscano, and Dionne Warwick, and special appearances from Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Sir Michael Caine, George Clooney, Dame Joan Collins, David Copperfield, Clive Davis, Robert De Niro, John Elway, Jane Fonda, David Geffen, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Samuel L. Jackson, Quincy Jones, Jay Leno, Rob Lowe, Nigel Lythgoe, Lionel Richie, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Maria Shriver, Usher, Diane Warren, Oprah Winfrey, and Henry Winkler.
The program ended with a stunning group performance of Barbara Davis’s favorite song, “That’s What Friends Are For,” led by Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Cynthia Erivo, Sam Smith, and Kenny G. Other standout performances throughout the program included a soaring duet of “The Prayer” with Andrea Bocelli and Pia Toscano accompanied by David Foster, Tony Bennett dedicating his classic “The Way You Look Tonight” to birthday girl Davis, Barry Manilow joined by a choir of singers for “One Voice,” Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton singing their new hit “Happy Anywhere,” Erivo and Adam Lambert lending their incomparable vocals to “I Knew You Were Waiting,” and Deborah Cox paying tribute to frequent Carousel guest and performer Whitney Houston with her own rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
In partnership with PEOPLE, the legendary biennial event streamed exclusively on PEOPLE.com/Carousel, PeopleTV, PEOPLE social platforms and PEOPLE YouTube. This marked the first time in its history that the Carousel of Hope Ball was available for public viewing. This year’s event celebrated two very significant occasions – Davis’ 90th birthday, and the 40th Anniversary of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.
It featured Jay Leno as master of ceremonies, David Foster as music director, George Schlatter as honorary producer, and Clive Davis and Quincy Jones as music chairmen. The event was produced and directed by Erich Bergen and Marc Johnston. 2020 marks the 34th Carousel Ball, where guests enjoyed a silent auction, exciting entertainment, and musical performances. For additional information about the 2020 Carousel of Hope Ball, visit: carouselofhope.org.
Since its inception in 1978, the iconic event has been a Hollywood favorite, uniting entertainment, sports, and business industry leaders from all areas for a night dedicated to raising awareness and, ultimately, finding a cure for diabetes. Diabetes, which afflicts over 30 million people in the United States alone, is rapidly on the rise. It is estimated that each year, approximately 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Of those, 25,000 are children. The Carousel Balls have raised more than $105 million to date, with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.
The Underwriting Sponsor of the 2020 Carousel of Hope Ball was Dexcom. Other supporting sponsors included Marlyn and Robert Day, The Beverly Hilton, Fox Corporation, GUESS Foundation, and Iris and Michael Smith. The Carousel of Hope’s exclusive wine partner was 7Cellars Wine & Spirits.