At the 26th Annual Carousel of Hope Ball, the Oscar winner was honored with the Brass Ring Award for his humanitarian efforts. But it was his voice that the stole the spotlight inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday night.
As Neil Diamond descended from the stage into the crowd, the legendary crooner got the man of the hour to step to the mic. Standing side-by-side, Clooney dueted with Diamond on his classic hit, “Sweet Caroline,” with the singer letting Clooney chime in for the song’s well-known hook.
Clooney was, as usual, a crowd-pleaser at the black-tie affair, which raised $2.5 million for diabetes treatment and research, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The event kicked off with a two-hour-long silent auction, followed by a live auction hosted by the night’s emcee, Jay Leno. The reception — which saw entertainment from Fernando Varela, American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds — drew 1,200 guests, including Sidney Poitier, Jane Fonda, Jerry Bruckheimer and Sherry Lansing.
“George Clooney uses his celebrity to be the greatest philanthropist,” Barbara Davis, the Carousel of Hope co-founder, told the Associated Press at the event. “He inspired me when he did the telethon for Haiti and… then he went on to help Darfur, Sudan. He helps everybody.”
As Shirley MacLaine introduced the night’s honoree, she praised the “very serious, the very handsome, and I think the very, very important, very plucky George Clooney.” As he accepted his award, Clooney commended Davis for using her “good fortune to help others who are less fortunate. Now to be honest, every person in this room is probably less fortunate than you,” he joked, garnering chuckles from he crowd. “I thank you for this award,” he said, adding “I will be singing later — opera.”
And even though the evening honored him, Clooney struck a humble note on the red carpet. The night is “less about anything for anybody individually,” he told the AP. “It’s really nice to be able to come out and support Barbara and all her good work. She’s doing some amazing work with diabetes, so it’s fun to do that.”
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