Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Elton John ready to tone down his wardrobe

Elton JohnAfter four decades of flamboyant costumes Sir Elton John says he's finally ready to tone down his wardrobe.

The singer, who turns 61 next month, admitted he's not the 'fashion victim' he once was a day after appearing at his annual Oscar party wearing a black suit and silver tie - downright plain compared to some of Sir Elton's wilder stage ensembles. He was quizzed about the outfit as he appeared on U.S. TV with CNN's Larry King.

Sir Elton said: "Well, I mean I couldn't wear some of my giant chicken outfits to the Oscar party, A, because I wouldn't fit in them anymore, and B, because, you know, I'm 61 years of age next month and I don't dress as flamboyant as I used to.

"As you get older, you change the way you think, the way you dress.

"I always liked to dress a little differently from other people but I'm nowhere near the fashion victim that I was a long time ago."

Making a point that the flair is not completely dead, the pop star added: "But I still had a a nice silver Chanel tie and a sparkly shirt!"

Sir Elton's Oscar party raised a record $5.1million for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Attended by many Oscar winners and nominees, the party was THE party to be at after the Academy Awards after the Vanity Fair party was canceled this year.

Celebrities attending included Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Sharon Stone, Kate Beckinsale, Simon Cowell,  Heidi Klum and Seal.

One noticeable absence was a performance from pop star Prince, who appeared at the party but did not perform as had been hoped. "He came late," said Sir Elton "He said he might come and play. And with him, you never know whether he's going to do it or not. He's that kind of guy.

"It's always a disappointment when you want to play with someone like Prince.

"But I've had the luxury of singing with him twice on stage. So I understand the way he works, the way he thinks. And it's fine with me."

The Elton John Aids Foundation says it has raised more than $125 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in 55 countries around the world since it was founded in 1992. And Sunday night's party raised more money than any of its 15 predecessors and was one of the best-attended Oscar parties of the evening.

Sir Elton said: "It was started about 17 years ago.  I was an alcoholic and a drug addict for 16 years. And during that time the AIDS epidemic started, in the early '80s.  I never felt that during that time, I did enough for AIDS, people with AIDS, being a gay man.

"I didn't speak out. I didn't join the people. I didn't. I should have been there. I should have been on the front line. I wasn't.

"I just thought you know what, you've been so selfish for so long, you've really got to do something to atone for this.

"I went into rehab and I've been - this year, hopefully, in July - I'll be 18 years sober and clean. As soon as I got sober and clean, I thought, you know what, I've been so fortunate to have been a drunk and been a drug addict and not become HIV-positive and I've got to do something to help people."

A statement from party organizers said: "The annual gala continues to be the leading fundraising event in Hollywood on Oscar night."

Items auctioned at the Elton John party included Chopard sunglasses custom designed by actors Julianne Moore, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Brooke Shields,  a 1974 vintage Corvette from Sharon Stone's personal collection and a 'round-the-world vacation package - Around the World in 80 Ways -  to celebrate the 80th year of the Oscars.

The evening featured a live performance by Elton John with his band and by Mary J. Blige and Jack Shears of Scissor Sisters.

By Eric Munn, Feb 26 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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