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Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” took home the top prize at the 90th Academy Awards in what was considered one of the most wide open best picture races in years. The fantasy creature romance also won the Oscars for directing, original score and production design. 

A number of the night’s winners were first-time nominees including Jordan Peele, who won the Oscar for original screenplay for his horror satire “Get Out.” Allison Janney, who won for supporting actress, and Sam Rockwell, who won for supporting actor, were also first-time nominees. 

Frances McDormand gave one of the most rousing speeches of the night when accepting the lead actress Oscar for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph left viewers wanting the pair to host an awards show of their own. 

After partiesBehind the scenes

Elton John Oscar-viewing party raises $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation

Lionel Richie, left, Elton John, Miley Cyrus and Ricky Martin on Sunday. (Michael Kovac / Getty Images)
Lionel Richie, left, Elton John, Miley Cyrus and Ricky Martin on Sunday. (Michael Kovac / Getty Images)

Nearly 1,000 invitees to Elton John’s 26th Academy Awards viewing party raised $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation on Sunday night in West Hollywood.

The tony gathering under white tents set up in West Hollywood Park drew its own bevy of celebrities from film, music, TV and other realms. Among them were Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Billie Jean King, Spike Lee, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Zooey Deschanel, Gladys Knight, Heidi Klum, Ricky Martin, George Hamilton, Jennifer Garner, longtime Grammy Awards telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich and John’s longtime songwriting collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin.

Attendees were invited to text in pledges as the Oscar telecast was displayed on multiple screens throughout the room. At one point, audience members were informed it was one of the rare events where “it’s OK to spend the night texting.”

The evening’s host was characteristically resplendent, wearing a rust-colored tux jacket and bejeweled round-frame glasses.

He and David Furnish, his husband and event co-creator, thanked guests for their contributions to the foundation, which has raised more than $400 million for various programs aimed at fighting AIDS globally since EJAF was founded in 1992 in the U.S., with a sibling foundation launched the following year in the U.K.

A live auction of several artworks and other items generated more than $725,000 on the spot Sunday, a major chunk of that for artist Chris Levine’s luminescent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, “Lightness of Being, 2018,” which sold for $270,000. A Lalique sculpture that John created for the evening sold for $80,000.

Following the awards ceremony and live auction, John turned over the annual musical spotlight segment to Michigan-based hard rock band Greta Van Fleet, which let loose with Led Zeppelin-inspired riffs and decibels and high-pitched, Robert Plant-like vocals from lead singer Josh Kiszka.

“Whoever says rock music is dead is completely wrong,” said John, 70. “When I first saw them they knocked me out… They are going to be one of the biggest bands of the year.”

Elton John, center, and members of hard-rock band Greta Van Fleet at his AIDS Foundation dinner and concert on Sunday. (Michael Kovac / Getty Images)
Elton John, center, and members of hard-rock band Greta Van Fleet at his AIDS Foundation dinner and concert on Sunday. (Michael Kovac / Getty Images)

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