Stars at Cannes take break from red carpet to support AIDS research

CANNES (Reuters) - Celebrities including Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Wright and Heidi Klum escaped the Cannes Film Festival's crowded Croisette Boulevard for a night to attend a fundraiser for AIDS research at a secluded luxury hotel in the nearby resort town of Antibes.

"I wanted to be here tonight because I think it's such a beautiful charity and just to be able to do what I can," said Bebe Rexha, one of the stars performing at the Thursday event.

In addition to Rexha, Gladys Knight, Adam Lambert and Halsey entertained the high-paying guests while Queen Latifah played host for the evening that included a fashion show and auction.

The goal of the luxury evening was to raise money on behalf of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which also supports HIV prevention, treatment education and advocacy.

"Our goal is there can be a cure for everyone," said amfAR chief executive Kevin Robert Frost on the event's blue carpet.

Before dinner, guests strolled the hotel's paradisiacal courtyard with a view of the water - and a giant yacht - as they sipped Champagne and looked at items being auctioned off.

A painting titled "Beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio Looking Away Painting," signed by the actor and the artist, Damien Hirst, was one of the pieces on the auction block, as was an 80-foot geometric shape made from steel, glass and LED lights from the "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" film was also up for grabs.

Klum wore a pale green feathered dress that left a trail of wispy plumes over the grounds, while Rexha wore a dress with a bow of ribbon so large that it looked like a pair of wings.

The least expensive ticket for one guest starts at $25,000, while $500,000 buys first-choice dinner seating for 12 guests.

Since 1985, amfAR said it has invested nearly $600 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,500 grants to research teams around the world.

(Reporting by Miranda Murray, Alicia Powell and Yiming Woo; Editing by David Gregorio)