Bono AIDS Charity Auction Raises $42 Million
The U2 frontman draws a celebrity crowd for his Valentine's benefit
The stars came out on Valentine’s night to spread the love – and the cash – for Bono’s (RED) charity, and raised more than $42 million in an art auction to benefit the Global Fund of the United Nations Foundation, which works to fight AIDS in Africa.
“Tonight we’re taking it to a whole new level,” the U2 frontman told PEOPLE. “We have people giving all of their work away This is a pretty big night.”
The event, at Sotheby’s on New York’s Upper East Side, brought out everyone from Martha Stewart to Russell Simmons, Ed Burns and Christy Turlington.
When it came to the main event, the bidding, “I need someone to control me once I get started,” Turlington told PEOPLE.
Multi-Million Medicine Cabinet
The night’s highest-priced item came from British artist Damien Hirst, whose medicine cabinet, called “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way,” fetched $7.15 million.
Said Bono of the work: “Damien Hirst’s medicine cabinet is so striking because he’s made pills a centerpiece of his work for years. And now the idea that these pills have gone from being a work of art to providing real pills for people who will die without them is very poetic to me.”
Many of the other pieces up for auction Thursday centered around themes of “love” or “red.”