PLANET HOLLYWOOD: Flexing his pulling power in the name of the planet, Leonardo DiCaprio pulled a surprise performance by Madonna out of the hat for the fourth edition of his namesake foundation’s annual gala, held in Saint-Tropez on Wednesday night.
The evergreen pop star performed a string of greatest hits including “Ray of Light,” “Open Your Heart” and “La Isla Bonita” to guests including DiCaprio bestie Kate Winslet, Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Tobey Maguire and Gerard Butler, with Grammy-winning artist Lenny Kravitz also entertaining the crowd.
In fact, the evening turned into a reunion for “Titanic” co-stars DiCaprio, Winslet and Billy Zane, who posted a picture of the three on Instagram with the caption: “Gangs back together. Now we’re saving icebergs. Go figure.”
Works by artists including Damien Hirst, Urs Fischer and Richard Prince went on the block during a live auction conducted by Simon de Pury, with $30 million raised so far, as guests dined on a sustainable pescatarian menu featuring local fish and produce sourced locally.
The night’s chairs included Prince Albert II of Monaco, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Tom Hanks, Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Uma Thurman.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was honored with the foundation’s New World Leadership Award for her commitment to bringing about sustainable policies and innovative climate resiliency programs in Paris.
Joining the foundation’s ceo Terry Tamminen and global fundraising chairman Milutin Gatsby on stage, DiCaprio delivered a number of speeches around urgent challenges facing the planet, from rising global temperatures and melting polar ice, to species threatened with extinction.
“The health of our planet is grave — this crisis is real. What we seem to lose sight of is that we are part of nature, in fact we depend on nature for our very survival. Our natural systems sustain us with all that is necessary for life — such as ample food, clean air and drinkable water,” he said.
According to a statement, since 2008, LDF has committed more than $80 million in grants to fund more than 200 high-impact environmental projects across the areas of wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, climate change, innovative solutions, indigenous rights and the California program.
An online auction benefiting the foundation’s programs aimed at building climate resiliency, protecting vulnerable wildlife from extinction, and restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities will continue online from Aug. 10 through Aug. 23.
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