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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Group Therapy

Richard Mortimer's night out with the stars...

Karaoke, it seems, is the hottest thing in London right now. With the recent opening of Karaoke Box in Smithfield, and the old favorites in Soho still going strong, could there be a more perfect concept for a charity fundraiser?

Of course, Bella Freud and the committee members of HOPING charity already know this. Last year's karaoke fundraiser at Ronnie Scott's proved so successful they decided to do it again. As such, June 19 saw a dinner and benefit auction to raise funds for the HOPING Foundation for Palestinian refugees. The event was organized by Bella Freud, Karma Nabulsi, James Fox and Sudhir Hazareesingh, with the help of Mary McCartney, Laura Bailey, Jemima Khan and Dan MacMillan, among others.

It was a turnout of epic proportions, with entertainment royalty—i.e. Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed and Nick Cave—out to support the cause in one way or another. Some sang, while others weren't so brave. Those not grabbing the mic dug deep into their wallets to place bids on once-in-a-lifetime renditions of their karaoke favorites. Setting the tone was Lulu, singing her classic hit Shout, accompanied by Jools Holland on piano and backing vocals from Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Taylor-Wood, Donna Air and Sharleen Spiteri. Jarvis Cocker gave a rousing interpretation of the classic My Sherona, while Gwyneth's cover of Killing Me Softly managed to pull in £45,000! With the likes of Stella McCartney, Daphne Guinness, Mario Testino, Alice Dellal, Guido, Hedi Slimane and Souxie Soux all showing up to support the cause, the event now looks set to become an annual highlight on the social calendar.

—Richard Mortimer

Bella Freud & Lily Cole

Daphne Guinness, Mario Testino & David Furnish

David Williams & Jarvis Cocker
Jools Holland, Bruce Forsythe, Lulu, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Jeff Beck & Sharleen Spiteri

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