Carousel of Hope Ball

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson Honored at Carousel of Hope Ball


The event: Basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar bestowed the Brass Ring Award on NBA superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson at the Oct. 11 Carousel of Hope Ball. Hosted by Barbara Davis, and presented by Mercedes Benz, the biannual black-tie gala raised funds for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes.

Jennifer Hudson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The crowd: Emcee Jay Leno called himself “the least famous person in the room,” and indeed, the Beverly Hilton’s ballroom was packed with music icons, such as Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Rod Stewart, Natalie Cole, songwriter Diane Warren and Motown founder Berry Gordy; comedy greats Kathy Griffin and Jon Lovitz; actors, business leaders and others, including Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Bellamy Young, Raquel Welch, Joan Collins, Kelly Lynch, Larry King, Nigel Lythgoe and Kat Dennings. David Foster served as music director, George Schlatter as producer, and Quincy Jones and Clive Davis as music chairs. 

The entertainment: “You know what I love? It’s 10:30 and the room is still full,” said Foster. “Now for L.A., that’s some kind of record.” … 


Click here to read the rest of my story in the Los Angeles Times “All the Rage” section; click here to see the LA Times photo gallery; and scroll down to see yet more pictures.

Josh Groban performs


As a side note: Considering the caliber of the gala’s music co-chairs and music director, it is not surprising that guests remained in their seats until the last note was sung. This gala featured three singers at the top of their game, each of them delivering a brilliant set.

Josh Groban sang four tunes, including “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods,” and “Not While I’m Around” from “Sweeney Todd,” followed by a staggeringly beautiful “You Raise Me Up,” which he dedicated to Magic Johnson. 

Jennifer Hudson’s belted out a powerful “And I’m Telling You” from “Dreamgirls,” before closing with a haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic, “Hallelujah.” 

Accompanied by David Foster, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds had the courage to improvise a song on the spot and then ended the night’s  show on an uplifting note: the bright and cheerful “Change the World.” 



Top photo: Magic Johnson gave a touching speech, as he accepted the Brass Ring Award at the Carousel of Hope Ball (photo, Alex J. Berliner/ ABImages/ courtesy of the Carousel of Hope) 

Second photo: Jennifer Hudson with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the Carousel of Hope Ball (photo, Alex J. Berliner/ ABImages/ courtesy of the Carousel of Hope) 

Third photo: Josh Groban, who has been performing at the Carousel of Hope Ball since his teen years (photo, Alex J. Berliner/ ABImages/ courtesy of the Carousel of Hope)

Fourth photo: Two music legends: Johnny Mathis, left, and Barry Manilow at the Carousel of Hope Ball (photo, 

Fifth photo: Kathy Griffin poses beside a model of a Mercedes Benz at the Carousel of Hope Ball (photo,  



Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez and Universal’s Donna Langley Honored for their Philanthropy

Barbra Streisand, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chloe Grace Moretz, Kris Jenner Join PSLA Salute to Donna Karan and Baby Buggy

Diwali Dinner Raises Funds to Feed Indian Schoolchildren


Gustavo Dudamel, Itzhak Perlman, Star Wars Stormtroopers Team Up to Honor John Williams at LA Phil Gala

Jane Fonda Hosts Rape Foundation Brunch, Shares Her Personal Story

“Stars Under the Stars” Fetes American Ballet Theatre

“Andy Warhol: Shadows” exhibition at MOCA Grand Avenue is celebrated

Kate Walsh, Emmy Rossum, Bruno Bichir, Stana Katic Spend a Night at the Opera 

Fashion Rocks at Macy’s Glamorama for AIDS Project Los Angeles

Mike Myers, Matthew Barney Among Actors, Artists at Opening Celebration for Doug Aitken Show

[nggallery id=335]

Carousel of Hope Ball

Published Oct. 14, 2014 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA