One week after their On the Run II global tour ended, Beyoncé and Jay-Z took to the stage on October 12, for the City of Hope’s 45th Spirit of Life Gala Fundraiser in Santa Monica. This year’s festivities, benefiting City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, were dedicated to a long-time friend of the Carters, Warner Chappell CEO, Jon Platt.
Rapper Pharrell Williams hosted the event, but Jay-Z had the honor of introducing Platt, whom he referred to as his brother and “the Obama of the music industry,” and presenting him with the Spirit of Life Award. With such big names attached, it’s no surprise that the event sold out its 1,200 seats. The Hollywood Reporter writes that Platt’s acceptance speech was not only heartfelt and emotional but also very honest, admitting that he knew exactly who the audience was really waiting to see onstage, Queen Bey herself. When he handed the spotlight to Beyoncé, she shared a few kind words in return, “Most people lead with their ego, but you lead with your heart. You have touched so many lives, mine included.”
The East Hampton singer performed a four-song set ending with her breathtaking classic Halo, bringing everyone to their feet. Check out some photos and a clip from her spectacular performance.
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The fundraiser was a roaring success, with a total of $6 million raised for City of Hope. At the event Robert Smith, CEO of Vita Equity Partners, donated $500,000 to City of Hope, with the condition that half of it must go toward prostate cancer treatment for black men, while the other half be put toward breast cancer research for black women.
The Carters have never been strangers to charity. Beyoncé’s fundraising initiative BeyGOOD is one of the reasons she earned the title of BBC’s most powerful woman in music last month.