City of Hope
Andy Gelb/Julia Rossen
The virtual celebration, presented by Facebook, raised over $780,000 to support City of Hope’s mission to eliminate cancer and diabetes. The event featured musical performances by Duran Duran, Jac Ross and Rob Thomas, with appearances from special guests Jimmy Jam, Benny Blanco, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream, Carole Bayer Sager, Diane Warren, Jennifer Holliday, Desmond Child, Todd Phillips, Deborah Cox and more.
DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope, a world-renowned research and treatment organization for cancer and diabetes, partnered with RWQuarantunes for the 16th Annual Songs of Hope virtual celebration on Thursday, Sept. 30. The special event, presented by Facebook, celebrated the music industry and their support for City of Hope’s mission to eliminate cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Songs of Hope raised a record-breaking amount, over $780,000 for the cause throughout the evening, with support from Award Sponsors, Clive Davis, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, and EA Music. Additional support came from the event’s Premium Sponsors ASCAP, Bruce Resnikoff, Barbara and Zach Horowitz, Concord, Jody and Gary Marsh, Hipgnosis, Mark and Ana Maria Gordon, and YouTube Music. Sponsors from City of Hope’s Los Angeles Real Estate & Construction Industries Council, including DLA Piper, Kennedy Wilson, City National Bank, Kilroy Reality, and Richard and May Ziman, generously turned out to support the event to the tune of $25,000.
During the event, RWQuarantunes founders Richard and Demi Weitz welcomed guests and were joined by event co-chair Evan Lamberg and emcee Jimmy Jam. City of Hope’s Sheri Biller spoke about the organization’s innovative Department of Supportive Care Medicine, which is committed to delivering the institution’s signature compassionate, specialized cancer care to patients and their families. Surprise guests Duran Duran started the evening on a high note, with a special video message from John Taylor and Simon Le Bon, followed by a performance.
Ryan Press introduced the first award of the night, Warner Chappell’s “Voice of Hope” Award, presented posthumously in honor of the late hip-hop rapper Pop Smoke. Singer-songwriter and record producer The-Dream recorded a message about the late musical artist for guests before Pop Smoke’s mother, Audrey Jackson, accepted the award on his behalf. Jackson was joined by Billboard’s Gail Mitchell for a moving conversation about her son’s life and legacy. Next, Clive Davis presented Smokey Robinson with the Clive Davis “Legend in Songwriting” Award before the event co-chairs surprised Davis by presenting him with an award of his own, the “Songs of Hope Heroes” Award, which Davis graciously accepted. Event co-chair Evan Lamberg emphasized Davis’ contributions throughout the years, describing him as the “bedrock and cornerstone” of Songs of Hope.
Aloe Blacc made a surprise appearance after Smokey’s award, singing “He’s the man, he’s the man, he’s the man” to the music icon, in a nod to Blacc’s hit song “The Man,” while singer Jac Ross thrilled guests with a soulful rendition of “My Girl.” Later in the evening, Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas wowed the crowd with his acoustic take on “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” before accepting song requests from guests in exchange for donations to City of Hope.
Facebook’s Zeina Grenier and Alexa Cabellon were joined by surprise guest Benny Blanco to present the Facebook “Songwriter Impact” Award to Gracie Abrams and Blake Slatkin, who also performed at the virtual event. Songs of Hope co-chair Steve Schnur honored Hildur Guðnadóttir with the EA Music “Composer of the Year” Award, after sharing a video message from “Joker” director Todd Phillips. Daniel Nigro received the Sony Music Publishing “Creative Trailblazer” Award from Sony’s Nick Bral and Jennifer Knoepfle, who highlighted his many accomplishments, including his recent work on Olivia Rodrigo’s hit album, “Sour.”
Loretta Erhunmwunsee, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at City of Hope, received the “Beverly and Ben Horowitz Legacy” Award, named after the longtime CEO and first lady of City of Hope. Under Horowitz’s leadership, City of Hope was transformed from a small hospital that was focused on tuberculosis into a world leader in the research and treatment of cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The Horowitz legacy is carried on by their son, Zach Horowitz, former chair, current member and major gifts chair of the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Executive Board, their daughter, Jody Horowitz-Marsh, who is past chair and currently sits on the board of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and their granddaughter, Zoey Marsh, a founding member of City of Hope’s Junior Board. Together, they presented Erhunmwunsee with the award. Erhunmwunsee’s research seeks to eliminate health inequities among minority and under-resourced populations through City of Hope’s Division of Health Equities. A portion of the proceeds from the event will support her ongoing projects.
Jody Gerson, Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO and co-founder of She Is The Music, presented the evening’s final award to Brandi Carlile, who also performed. Carlile was recognized with the “She Is The Music” Award for her contributions to the music industry as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer, and for her impact on culture.
Facebook once again served as the presenting sponsor for Songs of Hope.
Co-chairs of the event included Doug Davis (The Davis Firm), Evan Lamberg (president, North America/Universal Music Publishing Group), David Renzer, and Steve Schnur (worldwide executive and president, Music for Electronic Arts).
For more information, please visit https://event.CityofHope.org/songsofhope.
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About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin, monoclonal antibodies and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked among the nation’s “Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California and in Arizona. Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) became a part of City of Hope in 2016. AccessHopeTM, a subsidiary launched in 2019, serves employers and their health care partners by providing access to NCI-designated cancer center expertise. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
Since April 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, WME partner Richard Weitz and his 17-year-old daughter Demi have been hosting virtual Zoom concerts, fundraising for charities harshly affected by the pandemic. These events have raised over $27 million and have featured over 400 performances by high-profile artists, such as Andra Day, Art Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Beck, Billy Porter, Boy George, Boyz II Men, Carly Simon, Charlie Puth, Coldplay, Dan + Shay, Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, Earth Wind & Fire, En Vogue, Finneas, Florida Georgia Line, H.E.R., Hozier, Jack Black, James Bay, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mayer, Juanes, Lin Manuel Miranda, LL Cool J, Luke Bryan, Michael Bolton, Rev Run, Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart, Sam Smith, Santana, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes, Sting, The Killers, Thomas Rhett and TLC, and featuring new young artists, such as 24kGoldn, Chloe X Halle, Prince Royce, Teddy Swims and UMI, among many others.
Attendees at the events have included a broad array of studio executives and prominent entertainment figures, including Bob Iger, Dana Walden, David Nevins, Jeff Shell, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jen Salke, Pearlena Igbokwe, Sherry Lansing and Stacey Snider, and music legends Carole Bayer Sager, Clive Davis, David Foster, Diane Warren, Gustavo Dudamel, Jimmy Jam and Rodney Jerkins. Past events have even included special appearances by Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts, MLB’s Hall of Famer Joe Torre, Lakers legend Magic Johnson, Mark Hamill, Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Kermit the Frog and more.
Past charities RWQuarantunes has partnered with include Saban Community Clinic, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, United Way Worldwide, New York Health + Hospitals, Team Rubicon, Vanderbilt Hospital, CDC Foundation, ACS, Baby2Baby, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, LA Phil’s YOLA, No Kid Hungry, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater LA, Equal Justice Initiative, Broadway Cares, MusiCares, FreeAmerica, Healing California, Girls Inc., Heart of Los Angeles, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Motion Picture & Television Fund, Find Your Light, The Pad Project, Broadway Cares, HollyRod, Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles, Michael Bolton Charities, UJA Federation, LIFEbeats, Center Theater Group, the LA Dodgers Foundation, Heartbeats, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, the Illumination Foundation and the NAACP.