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Three-Time Grammy Nominee Raphael Saadiq to Perform at 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards(R) Viewing Party

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Elton John AIDS Foundation announced today that Grammy-nominated artist Raphael Saadiq will perform at the 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Academy Awards(R) Viewing Party on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. The event will be co-hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, and will be co-sponsored by Chopard, Jo & Raffy Manoukian, and Vh1.

Oakland native Raphael Saadiq made his entree into the music world in the late 1980s as the lead singer and bass player for the multi-platinum R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone!. After leaving the group, the multi-talented Saadiq took his love of music and began writing and producing for some of today's top musicians including Joss Stone, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige. In 2000, his work as a producer won Saadiq a Grammy for the song "Untitled" off D'Angelo's Voodoo, and in 2002, he released his much-anticipated first solo album Instant Vintage, a collection of soulful songs that earned him five Grammy nominations. In September 2008, Saadiq released his third solo album, The Way I See It, which landed him the #1 position on iTunes Top Albums of the Year as well a spot on Rolling Stone's Best Album's of 2008 list and 2008 Billboard Critics Top 10 list. The Way I See It has earned Saadiq three Grammy nominations, including Best R&B Album, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for his song "Never Give You Up" featuring Stevie Wonder and CJ Hilton.

'The Way I See It' is a masterpiece," said Sir Elton John. "I think it is one of the best albums of the year and certainly the best R&B album of the year. I'm absolutely thrilled and excited that he will be performing at our Oscar party. I can't wait to hear the songs live."

The Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award(R) Viewing Party, the most successful fundraising event in Hollywood on Oscar(R) night, has once again tapped New York City-based event design company Antony Todd Incorporated to transform the "Outdoor Plaza" of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood into an elegant arena for this year's event. Todd's design will take a modern approach on the classic supper club, mixing traditional elements with modern and whimsical touches. This year's guests, who will arrive at 4:00pm for a cocktail reception, can also expect some decadent treats, such as Godiva Chocolate Truffletini's and a five-course dinner consisting of menu items such as aged 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano with pear compote and Entu jelly and Carnaroli risotto flavored with dry Marsala wine and crystallized flowers prepared by Chef Wayne of Los Angeles-based Crumble Catering.

EJAF also announced today the evening's event chairs: David and Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Joseph Blount and Craig Reynolds, Tom Calderone, Richard Cook, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, Stephen Daldry, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Diane Jenkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Limato, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Stone, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Donatella Versace and John Walters

ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION: The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established in the United States in 1992 (EJAF-US) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 (EJAF-UK) by founder and chairman Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised over $150 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. EJAF-US's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents.

CHOPARD: There are few jewelers in the world whose designs are immediately recognizable. At the forefront of that list is Chopard. For over 140 years, the "World of Chopard" has embraced elegance, originality and individuality. Renowned internationally for its award-winning "Happy Diamonds" creations, the Chopard collection also includes an array of designs that adorn celebrities around the world. Meticulously crafted in Geneva, Switzerland since 1860, Chopard has distinguished itself worldwide for luxurious jewels and impeccably crafted high-precision timepieces that embody imaginative design and sophistication. To mark Chopard's 10 years of support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele has designed a new watch collection in collaboration with Sir Elton John himself. A testament to their friendship, the watch collection reflects the artist's extravagant personality as well as his tremendous generosity. A percentage of sales from these watches benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. For further information, phone 1.800.CHOPARD or explore Chopard on line at

JO AND RAFFY MANOUKIAN: Jo & Raffy Manoukian are honored to be one of the sponsors of the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards(R) Viewing Party. They have been personal friends of Sir Elton John since the early 1990s and are actively involved with the Foundation in the capacity of both Trustees and Board Members. The Elton John AIDS Foundation forms only one part of Jo & Raffy's philanthropy. Their charitable efforts span the globe with special emphasis on health, education, sports and media ventures.

VH1: Vh1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. Vh1 is available in 95 million households in the U.S. Vh1 also has an array of digital channels and services including Vh1Classic, Vh1 Soul, Vh1 Mobile, Vh1Games and extensive broadband video on Connect with Vh1 at

AMERICAN AIRLINES: American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,400 daily flights. American Airlines is the official airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

For more information on Raphael Saadiq please visit

    Contact:  Christina Lee/ Ivy Mollenkamp
              ROGERS & COWAN

SOURCE Elton John AIDS Foundation
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