Over the weekend, the annual charity gala the Carousel of Hope Ball took place remotely, but there was still plenty of star power on display from the likes of Sam Smith, Adam Lambert, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart and Babyface.
The event started with a bang as Adam Lambert and Oscar-nominated singer and actress Cynthia Erivo teamed up to deliver a virtual performance of the 1987 number-one hit “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” originally recorded by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. Erivo portrays Aretha in the upcoming season of Nat Geo’s series Genius.
And the gala closed with an all-star version of the 1986 number-one hit “That’s What Friends Are For,” featuring the original artists Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, plus Sam Smith and Cynthia Erivo singing the parts originally performed by Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Kenny G also jumped in to play Stevie’s distinctive harmonica part on his saxophone.
Other performances came from Josh Groban, performing “The Impossible Dream,” Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton singing their duet “Happy Anywhere,” Tony Bennett singing “The Way You Look Tonight,” and Barry Manilow performing “One Voice” with a choir.
Past clips of other stars performing at the event were also shown, including Whitney Houston, Ricky Martin and Beyoncé. You can watch the entire event now on YouTube — it’s the first year it’s been made available to the public.
The Carousel of Hope Ball was founded in 1978 as a fundraiser for the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes in Aurora, Colorado and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. Davis, a philanthropist, established the Foundation in 1977 because her daughter suffers from the disorder. Saturday’s installment of the event, which also served as a celebration of Davis’ 90th birthday raised more than $1 million.
By Andrea Dresdale
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