Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin took the stage on Wednesday, December 5 for the finale performance at the Cipriani Wall Street Concert Series, which auctioned off a Gibson guitar, a Maserati, and afternoon tea with the Duchess of York to raise an astounding $830,000 dollars for UNICEF.

Franklin was accompanied by a pianist on a gorgeous SF10E Baldwin Grand Piano, which she also played herself. The concert series benefits children around the world, supporting The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Sarah Ferguson Foundation (SFF). Past performers include Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, George Michael, The Pussycat Dolls, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Rihanna, and Akon.

The Cipriani Wall Street Concert Series was created in 1998 by Developer Giuseppe Cipriani as a private concert series held at his 55 Wall Street landmark building to help revitalize Lower Manhattan after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Cipriani's famed food and service generates an authentic, special evening. Each evening includes a cocktail hour, a four-course dinner, and the private performance of some of the music industry’s best talents.
 
The who’s who of New York social, fashion, entertainment, and business industries are often in attendance. Tyra Banks, Eva Mendes, Harvey Weinstein, Richard Branson, Richie Sambora, and Jeff Gordon all reportedly were in attendance Wednesday to help raise funds and to cheer on Aretha and fellow performer George Michael.  

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin