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The October 24th issue of Billboard–available starting today–features a photo of Elton and Lady Gaga on the cover.

Elton says:

”The music industry has the unique abilities to unite people and to inspire profound social change. That’s why I’m so honoured to participate in Billboard’s first philanthropy issue. Through the years, I’ve done my best to use the incredible platform that I’ve been blessed with to make a difference, particularly in the fight against AIDS.”

The singer recalls how many suffered in the 1980s when so many suffered but little was known about the disease.

He knew he had to ”do something,” and says he ”started small” by volunteering and lending his voice ”to the growing chorus of activists speaking out about the crisis.”

He adds:

”But I quickly realised that wasn’t enough. And not only that, I realised I could do so much more, thanks to the incredible reach of the music industry and the power of music in our culture. So in 1992, I created the Elton John AIDS Foundation in the United States and, a year later, in the United Kingdom. We weren’t looking for a cure — we simply wanted to help people, provide care and support and comfort, and fight the injustices faced by those living with HIV/AIDS. Most of all, we wanted them to know they mattered and that someone cared.

”My foundation became part of a close-knit movement of people and organisations that were motivated by the same drive to help people in need and to fight the horrible stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. I joined countless philanthropists and activists whose names we all know for their limitless generosity — Larry Kramer and Elizabeth Taylor. I also worked alongside those whose names you might not know, people working tirelessly on the front lines of the crisis in communities most vulnerable to the epidemic and in research laboratories that were desperately searching for treatments and maybe even a cure.”

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