Inside City of Hope’s Backyard Fete with Burt Bacharach and Aloe Blacc

Charli XCX, Natalie Cole, and Christophe Beck were also honored at the luxe house party
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Music producer Ron Fair opened up his gorgeous manse for the 11th Annual Songs of Hope evening benefiting City of Hope (a leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS). Why did he let glammed up party guests, some wearing five inch heels, on his immaculate mahogany floors? Because Clive Davis and Burt Bacharach were on the guest list. “That, for me, is like personal contact with Zeus and Odin,” Fair said, “Kings of the Gods in my world.”

Aloe Blacc had a hero worship moment of his own when LL Cool J stood near the stage as Blacc accepted an award, “Hip hop is my first love,” he said. “When I was a kid my dad bought Michael Jackson’s Bad cassette but he also bought LL Cool J’s Bigger & Deffer. It said ‘bad’ on the front. I said ‘just go buy me the ‘bad’ album and he brought both back. I was spending summer vacation learning about the Bristol Hotel at 18.” The singer then launched into his hit, “The Man,” inviting everyone to sing along—which they did.

Charli XCX brought her parents with her to the party. “It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I’m so blessed and honored to be in a room full of such amazing, talented people who I hope to be like one day.” Natalie Cole was a bit winded having just flown in from a tour, but she rallied and sang “That’s What Friends Are For” in honor of Bacharach, who wrote the Dionne Warwick hit.

Speaking of Bacharach, Davis took the stage to honor his longtime colleague with the Legends in Songwriters award. “I can think of no other living American composer who has enriched our culture, indeed, enriched our lives with more great music or more great songs,” Davis said. “He didn’t just have hit records…he has a dazzling array of standards that will be sung for all time.” Whew. It took 15 minutes for Davis to mention even a fraction of Bacharach’s work.

“Clive and myself, we’re both survivors in this ever-changing music business,” a hoarse Bacharach said to the artists and record execs assembled in Fair’s backyard before deflecting praise. “The thing about you Clive,” he said to Davis, “is there’s nobody kinda like you…you’re such an amazing talent. I’m glad you’re here and I’m glad I’m here.”