Justin Bieber pledges $545K for AIDS research at celebrity amfAR gala which is held during the Cannes Film Festival.
Justin Bieber may have ordered off the "kids menu," but there was nothing childish about the $545,000 he pledged at the 21st Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala this past week.
The 20-year-old was a guest at the star-studded event held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, on Thursday. The gala raised money for AIDS research and aims to find a broadly applicable cure by 2020.
Held annually, the amfAR Gala is seen as a highpoint of the Cannes Film Festival A-list party circuit. During the event, guests watched a fashion show, bid at a spirited auction co-hosted by Sharon Stone, Harvey Weinstein, Heidi Klum and auctioneer Simon de Pury, dined, and enjoyed performances by artists including Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Lana Del Rey, Robin Thicke and Aloe Blacc.
According to TMZ, Bieber "quietly and without fanfare" matched one wealthy guest's $545K pledge as high-powered bidding got underway during the auction.
The website reports other guests were stunned by Justin's generosity, and he was reportedly asked if he meant to pledge that high an amount.
Bieber reportedly replied yes, adding that he just felt "inspired to do something good" for the charity.
At press time, the much-criticized Canadian singer hasn't mentioned his amfAR pledge on his social media accounts.
However, Bieber did send his thanks to the organization after they tweeted their appreciation for his attendance at the Gala.
A new generation is ready to stand up and support. Thank you for joining us tonight, @justinbieber. #amfARCannes pic.twitter.com/mAFROV55NHThe Associated Press reported the amfAR foundation raised over $35 million at the event.
— amfAR (@amfAR) May 22, 2014
On the night, Bieber turned heads when he showed up in a diamond sharp, black Dolce and Gabbana suit to join guests who included: Leonardo DiCaprio, Catherine Deneuve, former French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Jane Fonda, Adrian Brody, Marion Cotillard, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Sofia Coppola, William Dafoe, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, a battalion of supermodels, and other stars.
Other pledges included Damien Hirst's gilded woolly mammoth skeleton which sold for $15 million, the highest lot of the night. Bruni and Sarkozy donated a Bulgari Serpenti necklace which raised $550,000. All the gowns in the fashion show were auctioned, while DiCaprio's offer of a seat next to him on a Virgin Galactic flight to space generated $1 million.
Anyone surprised at Bieber's high pledge at the amfAR Gala may not be aware the singer donated $13 million from two tours to charities and directed a portion of proceeds from his 2011 fragrance Someday to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Pencils of Promise --- which builds schools in underdeveloped countries.
(Photo: Bieber, Weinstein and Del Rey pose together.)
Justin has worked with Make-A-Wish since 2009, meeting terminally ill or very sick children before shows at 'Meet & Greets.' Currently, the singer holds the record by a recording artist for the highest number of "wishes" granted.
In addition to other ad-hoc efforts, Bieber notably matched Target's $100,000 pledge to Las Vegas' deprived Whitney Elementary School back in 2011. He has since pledged to keep the school's larder constantly stocked in conjunction with ConAgra Foods.
After wrapping his Believe world tour last December, Bieber flew to the Typhoon-Haiyan hit Philippines to perform an acoustic concert at a UNICEF shelter and mobilized his fans to raise over $3 million for survivors in an online campaign that he launched. Justin previously joined other artists on the Song For Philippines compilation record, the proceeds of which went to the relief effort.
(Photo: Bieber at the amfAR Gala in Antibes, held during the Cannes Film Festival.)
[Images via Mail Online/WireImage.]
[Images via Just Jared.]