SIR Elton John is planning to celebrate America's Independence Day (04JUL05) in style with an HIV/AIDS awareness concert in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The English rocker hopes to raise $2 million (GBP1.05 million) for awareness charities and research.

The PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM CONCERT - named after one of John's hits - is expected to draw more than 1.5 million people to the city's Museum of Art.

John says, "Philadelphia has long been one of my favourite cities because it has always had an intrinsic spirit of freedom and compassion."

The rocker insists more has to be done about the world AIDS epidemic because he has seen first hand how it has affected innocent people.

He explains, "Having recently spent time in South Africa, I saw first hand how the programmes of the ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION are really assisting in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"It will be a long fight, and one that must be met with strength and compassion, but we can all make a difference. I met with vulnerable and orphaned children who have been left destitute. There are three quarters of a million such children in South Africa alone and 11 million on the continent."

10/02/2005 21:26