Celebrities gathered in Las Vegas on Saturday for to celebrate Michael Caine's and Quincy Jones' birthdays, but mainly to raise awareness and funds for neurodegenerative brain diseases. As the diseases affect many in the world, most of the stars had an invested interested in aiding efforts to find a cure for the diseases.
"My mom... just passed away this year and she had Alzheimer's," R&B musician Babyface said of his mother, who passed away in September."...It's a terrible disease. ... That one in particular touches my family, so I'm very supportive of it.
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The event's co-honoree Michael Caine, who was celebrating his 80th birthday on Saturday, has also lost a loved one to the progressive neurological disease.
"My best friend died of Alzheimer's, so I'm very much aware of what it is," the English actor said. "It's...a double whammy for me because I would have helped the charity if it was just about Alzheimer's, and it's one of my best friends doing it. So, that's why I'm here."
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The Keep Memory Alive Power of Love Gala has been taking place annually to generate funds for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health for neurological diseases—including multiple sclerosis, ALS, and other memory disorders in addition to Alzheimer’s—for 17 years.
Among the many celebrities who were in attendance as supporters or performers at the gala were actresses Amy Poheler and Rashida Jones and musical talents Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Stevie Wonder, and will.i.am.
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Actress Whoopi Goldberg cited her friend Quincy Jones' past with brain aneurysms as part of the reason she was there. Although Jones turned 80 on Sunday, he experienced two life-threatening aneurysms when he was 44.
"Because it means so much to Quincy, it means a lot to me. He had his aneurysm years ago and he's been really at the forefront of trying to make sure that people are aware of what goes on in the brain and how to take care of it," the Sister Act actress said. "They say they're going to honor Quincy, I come."