Tag Archives: Aretha Franklin

Gwyneth Paltrow Gushes About Obama at Fundraiser

President Obama made his way to the swanky Brentwood, Calif. home of Gwyneth Paltrow on Thursday, for a fundraiser on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.

Tickets for the event began at $1,000, with an intimate dinner following the reception at $15,000 a ticket, Deadline reports. An estimated 200 guests attended, including actress Julia Roberts and actor Bradley Whitford.

According to pool reports, Paltrow gushed about Obama during her speech. “I am one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest,” Paltrow said. “So anyway, I’ll shut up now and just say welcome and thank you and we’re so excited and you’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”

Paltrow hosted a fundraiser for the president’s 2012 reelection campaign in London, with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

The Washington Post reports Vice President Joe Biden will swing through Los Angeles on Monday to host a fundraiser for female Democratic candidates. Carole King is set to perform.

On Tuesday, Obama will continue his fundraising blitz in New York City at the home of Intrepid CEO Bill White. Guests are expected to include Mark Wahlberg, Harvey Weinstein and Aretha Franklin, according to Page Six.

Celebs Sign On For Inaugural Events

As President Barack Obama’s inaugural weekend quickly approaches, more entertainers are signing up to join the celebrations and events around Washington D.C.

Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are set to perform during the Inauguration ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol on January 21.

The AP reports that Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley and Fun are set to sing at Obama’s inaugural galas Jan. 21 and a children’s concert on Jan. 19. Performers including Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and the cast of “Glee” have also signed on to perform at various galas that weekend.

City officials estimate a drop in attendance and predict an the crowd at the inaugural ceremony to be somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 – down from 1.8 million in 2009.

During Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, celebrities flocked to the celebrations. Speakers and performers included Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, Ashley Judd, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, Laura Linney, George Lopez, Kal Penn, Marisa Tomei, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Tiger Woods, Master Sgt. Caleb Green, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi with Bettye Lavette, James Taylor, John Legend, Jennifer Nettle, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban and Heather Headley, Will.i.am with Herbie Hancock and Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Garth Brooks, Shakira, Adam Levine, Stevie Wonder with Usher and Shakira, U2, Pete Seeger, Beyonce and Aretha Franklin.

Beyonce and Jay-Z at the 2009 Inauguration Photo: Reuters

Other celebrities simply attended the ceremony and/or performed at the dozens of galas held around Washington D.C., including Faith Hill, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Dustin Hoffman, Magic Johnson, Mohammad Ali, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarznegger,Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Sharon Stone, Sting, Elvis Costello, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Spike Lee, Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, John Cusack, Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Moore, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge, Mariah Carey and Robert DeNiro.

Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw at the 2009 Inauguration. Photo: Getty Images

Beyonce famously belted out Etta James’s ‘At Last’ at the Neighborhood Ball. Watch the performances below.

Obama Dines with Parker, Streep, Wintour and Franklin

The Obamas appeared together last Thursday evening at a fundraiser held at the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in New York City. The exclusive dinner raised nearly  $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each. The dinner was co-hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour according to the AP.

Among the famous attendees, actress Meryl Streep, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, fashion designer Michael Kors and singer Aretha Franklin dined with the President and First Lady. Although the event was held at his home, Broderick was absent due to his performance in a play.

After the glitzy dinner, the Obamas then headed to a fundraiser in Manhattan, where singer Mariah Carey performed and singer Alicia Keys spoke. The 250-person dinner brought in at least $2.5 million for the Obama campaign.

This is one of the many recent celebrity fundraisers the Obama campaign has held that has raised an estimated $50 million.

This particular event has been scrutinized by conservatives as “elitist” and “out-of-touch.” Pundits such as Glenn Beck criticized the Obama campaign for tapping Wintour to co-host, due to her harsh reputation.

However, like the George Clooney fundraiser, the Obama campaign held a raffle for donors to partake in with a minimum donation of $3. Two lucky winners were chosen to attend.