Life Ball is the world’s most extravagant HIV and AIDS benefit held annually in the beautiful historical city of Vienna, Austria. Life Ball combines the great Viennese Ball tradition with glamorous, outlandish performances and inspirational speeches. Life Ball has always provided an opportunity to speak out against ignorance and prejudice and celebrate diversity. Organized by AIDS LIFE, Life Ball has raised more than $20 million during the past 18 years for HIV/AIDS projects worldwide through partnerships with amfAR, the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and UNAIDS. Through the Life Ball, AIDS LIFE has been a major supporter of amfAR’s TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV/AIDS Initiative.
Since accepting a volunteer position with amfAR, Janet Jackson has travelled internationally on behalf of the foundation. At each of her numerous public appearances, she has worked tirelessly to heighten awareness of HIV/AIDS as a threat to social and economic stability and to underscore the urgent need for continued AIDS research.
“HIV/AIDS is a pandemic which requires our immediate and continued attention,” said the younger sister of Michael Jackson. “So much progress has been made, thanks to leading organizations such as amfAR, in the fight. Combination therapy has made HIV a maintainable disease, but sadly, there is still no cure and it continues to spread at alarming rates. HIV/AIDS is a continuing hazard, both in the Unites States and abroad. This is why I am honored to join with amfAR to bring awareness and help raise the much needed funding for their work.”
In 1997, her song “Together Again” fast became the new anthem for those suffering with AIDS, their families and friends. “I believe we have other lives,” Janet stated, "I don’t believe in the finality of death. I wanted to write about friends who have died of AIDS, but without being mournful or sad. I wanted to celebrate their spirit. I’m pleased that “Together Again” is just that — a celebration, a confirmation that the energy of love will never die." A portion of the proceeds from the song was donated to amfAR.
“We are profoundly grateful to Janet Jackson for joining Life Ball,” says amfAR’s CEO Kevin Frost. “She brings incomparable grace and a history of dedication to the fight against AIDS.”
Past Life Ball attendees have included President Bill Clinton, Sharon Stone, Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, Liza Minnelli, Elton John, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, and countless others. Each year, top fashion designers are invited to take part in an extravagant live fashion show. These designers have included Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Roberto Cavalli, Donatella Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein. This year, DSquared2 will be the official designer for the Life Ball Fashion Show.
This year’s Life Ball, organized in partnership with UNAIDS, will commemorate 30 years since the first AIDS cases were reported. President Clinton, UNAIDS Director Michel Sidibé, and other dignitaries and celebrities will participate in this year’s Life Ball.
The Life Ball takes place in Vienna on May 21. More information can be found here.