Stars Gather for Orlando Nightclub Shooting Fundraiser
Stevie Wonder, Caitlyn Jenner and Matt Bomer gathered in support of the Orlando nightclub shooting victims at an emotional fundraiser. The event, hosted by Lance Bass, paid tribute to those who were slaughtered in the shooting in June, while showing solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community who were affected by the tragedy.
Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the gay nightclub Pulse on June 12, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50. The benefit took place at the NeueHouse on Friday in Los Angeles, and featured performances from Wonder and Jessie J. Wonder called for an end to gun violence before he performed. “People that just feel they have to have their guns, it’s a heartbreak because it tells me that too many believe that it is easier for them to hate,” he told the star-studded crowd. “We have the right to love who we decide to love because love truly is the key… I believe that we all must come together in the spirit of love to put an end to all of this.” Jessie performed an acoustic version of her hit “Domino,” and revealed she was told it was a popular track played at the Pulse nightclub. Guest Matt said he wanted the victims’ families to know Hollywood is right behind them. “I think it’s just important to come out and let them know we care,” he said. “That we, the Hollywood community, care about what they went through, and that we support them and continue to raise awareness and raise funds through the text to give.” Bass, who used to live in Orlando and was once a regular at Pulse, said he wanted to give something back to his old stomping ground. “Living in Orlando for several years I feel very a part of that community. It’s where I came out as gay myself. It’s just very special to me to be able to give back in any way,” he said. “During tragedies like this entertainment does come together and put out the word.” Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma was also at the benefit with some of her staff members who were working at the club on the night of the shooting. She defiantly told the crowd, “We’ll stand strong against hate.” Proceeds from the fundraiser went towards the onePulse Foundation.