Elton John to Pay Tribute to AIDS Teen Victim by Headlining Charity Concert
Elton John will celebrate the life of HIV/AIDS victim Ryan White with a charity concert in Indiana. The "Rocket Man" recently spoke out about the tragic teenager, crediting his family for giving the star the determination to give up drugs following the youngster's death in 1990.
White contracted the disease from a contaminated blood transfusion and John held a bedside vigil for him in the last week of his life. He told Parade magazine, "Every time I stopped taking drugs, after a period of time I'd go back. It got worse and worse... What finally opened my eyes was Ryan White."
"I read in a magazine that Ryan was not allowed to go to school because he had AIDS. Firebombs were being put in his family's letter box. I was enraged. I helped the White family move. I spent the last week of Ryan's life in 1990 with him in an Indianapolis hospital. There was something wonderful in this family - they were losing their son, yet they were still able to forgive the hatred of others."
"I thought, 'Look at me. I have everything I want, and I complain about a hotel room because I don't like the wallpaper? What happened to me? I was a nice, decent boy, and now I'm a self-obsessed drug addict.' So I got sober."
Now John, who also performed at White's funeral, will pay tribute to him by headlining a fundraiser at Butler University in the 18-year-old's native Indiana. Profits from the April 28 concert will benefit the Indianapolis Children's Museum and John's AIDS foundation.
More Elton John News
- BET Awards 2016: Drake and Future Among First Winners
- BET Awards 2016: See Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Karrueche Tran's Showstopping Styles on Red Carpet
- Pregnant Blac Chyna Gets Striptease From Mariah Carey's Dancer on Vegas Stage
- Aziz Ansari Puts Donald Trump on Blast in Scathing Op-Ed Over Anti-Muslim Remarks
- Steven Tyler Confirms Aerosmith's 2017 Farewell Tour
- 'Rogue One' Releases More New Photos. Also Get Detail of Mon Mothma's Bigger Role
- Taylor Swift Flies to U.K. to Meet Tom Hiddleston's Mom. See Picture of Their Happy Outing
- 'Game of Thrones' Season Finale Won't Slow Down the Pace, People Will Die