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It was a night for new discoveries and old friends, all for a great cause.
With Virgin Records head Ron Fair and wife Stefanie Ridel hosting “Songs of Hope X” at their sprawling Brentwood estate, House of Fair, the 10th anniversary charity event to benefit the City of Hope raised $300,000 in support of the organization’s research of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, bringing its decade-long total to $3 million.
The star-studded event drew a who’s who of music business heavies, including Clive Davis (with his sons Doug and Mitch and ex-wife Janet, making it a real family affair); honorees Dr. Luke, Colbie Caillat and Brian Tyler; host Jimmy Jam, Lil Jon, JoJo, Gun N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and many, many others from the world of music publishing.
Co-chairs of the event were Spirit Music Group chairman David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group N.A. president Evan Lamberg and Doug Davis.
Davis, who presented the Clive Davis “Legend in Songwriting” Award to Dr. Luke, recalled the hit tunesmith approaching him with what he thought would be a great song for a rock band he had written with Max Martin, which the exec convinced him would be perfect for American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, which turned out to be “Since U Been Gone.” Luke, ever modest, accepted the award with few words, claiming he’s better at producing than talking.
Davis then introduced his latest discovery, 18-year-old Avery Wilson, brought to him by veteran singer-songwriter-producer Sean Garrett, which Clive called his first new signing in some half-dozen years. The impressive kid tackled a trio of covers in Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” the late Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You” (accompanying himself on acoustic guitar) and Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You,” showing a remarkable range and a falsetto that had the celebrity crowd buzzing even as he tried to lead them in a sing-along.
Tyler, the film music composer of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Fast Five, received the Electronic Arts Composer Award from EA’s Steve Schnur, while Caillat was honored with the Songs of Hope 10 Contemporary Songwriter Award, then followed with her own brief performance. The event also featured a special salute to ASCAP in honor of the organization’s 100th Anniversary, which came with support from Los Angeles magazine.
“What a wonderful milestone to see Songs of Hope celebrate 10 years of success as an event that brings together the songwriter, publisher and music community, and that has raised nearly $3 million supporting the lifesaving work of City of Hope,” said co-event chair Renzer. “I’m so honored to have founded the event and so proud of my co-chairs, Evan Lamberg and Doug Davis for all of their great work.”
“As a cancer survivor myself, I cherish the opportunity to co-chair this special event and assist in raising needed funds that will help continue City of Hope’s compassionate care of patients and groundbreaking research that will ultimately yield a cure for cancer,” said Doug Davis.
“City of Hope is a very special place where hope lives in every patient and family member that enters their doors. It’s an honor, along with my co-chairs David Renzer and Doug Davis, to continue to lead the annual Songs of Hope event and raise monies and awareness for such a worthy cause,” added Lamberg.
The evening also included a Songs of Hope silent auction featuring rare and one-of-a-kind music and film experiences and autographed items, such as an acoustic Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute guitar signed by Paul Simon. A select number of these exclusive items will also be available for public auction online at CharityBuzz’s website.
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