Elton John to Deliver Landmark HIV Lecture in Honor of Princess Diana

The 71-year-old icon is fighting to eliminate AIDS by 2030.

Sir Elton John wants to share his vision for an AIDS-free future.

The five-time Grammy winner has been tapped to deliver this year’s Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV, Billboard reports.

John will speak June 8 in London before an invited audience of politicians, health workers, journalists, civil society leaders, celebrities, and people living with HIV.

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The lecture will call on governments and the private sector to show leadership and accountability in order to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to end AIDS by 2030. John will also reflect on his close friendship with Diana and their shared commitment to HIV/AIDS activism.

The U.K.’s National AIDS Trust (NAT) launched the lecture in 1999 as a tribute to Princess Diana, a devoted patron of NAT until her 1997 death. This year’s lecture is presented in partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).

“I am delighted to be able to deliver this lecture and to remember the enormous contribution Diana, Princess of Wales made to this cause,” John says in a statement. “In the quarter century since the Elton John AIDS Foundation was established, the global AIDS fight has changed beyond recognition. Yet tolerance and courage has never been more important in the fight to create an AIDS-free generation and make the world a more accepting place for those living with HIV.”

“In our 30th year, it is particularly timely to focus on the challenges ahead in the fight against HIV, as well as paying tribute to the lasting impact of Princess Diana’s work,” adds NAT chief executive Deborah Gold. “2018 is a critical time in the global HIV epidemic. We have all the tools we need to beat HIV, yet we lack the level of investment or political priority necessary to use them fully. We are delighted that Sir Elton John, who has enormous credibility in this battle, will be speaking on this subject.”

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Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton delivered NAT lectures in Princess Diana’s memory in 1999 and 2001, respectively.

John revealed earlier this year that his upcoming Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will be his last. The 71-year-old legend is currently working on the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada and writing new songs for the upcoming live-action version of The Lion King.

Taron Egerton is set to play John in Rocketman, an upcoming biopic about the gay pop icon.

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