Rocker Bono's Valentine's Day (14Feb08) charity auction to help fight AIDS in Africa has raised a near-record breaking $42.6 million (GBP21.3 million) - far more than organisers were expecting to fetch. The U2 star teamed up with artist Damien Hirst to spearhead The (Red) Auction event at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City, which sold off contemporary art to the highest bidders. Auctioneers Sotheby's have hailed the $42.6 million haul as one of the biggest single charity events in history. Organisers had been hoping to raise around $29 million (GBP14.5 million). All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the United Nations' HIV relief initiative in Africa.