Lady Gaga, John Legend and a host of other stars celebrate launch of Sean Parker’s cancer initiative

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga performs onstage at the launch of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Los Angeles home of Napster co-founder Sean Parker and his wife, Alexandra.

(Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images for Parker Media)

“Welcome to our backyard,” said Sean Parker, in something of an understatement Wednesday night, as the Napster co-founder and his wife, Alexandra, welcomed an A-list of celebrities, business leaders, scientists and other VIPs to their Los Angeles home.

The night celebrated the launch of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, jumpstarted with Parker’s contribution of $250 million to create a collaboration of six research centers in the fight against cancer.

Aside from a sushi bar on ice, a heaping seafood buffet and seemingly never-ending hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail party alone, the stylish soiree offered performances by Lady Gaga, John Legend, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others.

So if you weren’t among the chosen 700, here are four highlights you missed.


1. Rock star scientists, and well… real rock stars and celebrities.

Aside from leading scientists, called “rock stars” by emcee Tom Hanks, party-goers included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Lenny Kravitz, James Corden, Jaime King, Katie Couric, Goldie Hawn, Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan, Rita Wilson, Emilia Clarke, Allison Williams, Minka Kelly, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Princess Beatrice of York, Laurene Powell Jobs, Arianna Huffington, Peter Jackson, Michael Milken, Stewart Resnick, Mark Ronson and David Foster.

2. Gov. Brown’s praise for Parker

“Who would have ever thought cancer would be cured by Napster?” said Brown, after noting that the night’s agenda wasn’t to talk about making money, as Parker had made money, but of the “even fewer people who know how to spend it with wisdom, elegance and imagination.”


3. Immunotherapy made easy

“Were those cartoons not fantastic?” said Hanks, of a series of animated spots, which popped up between speakers Cooper, Penn, Sanjay Gupta and others, to explain the science of immunotherapy. “I want you to be honest. If you were not a scientist -- who could barely figure out what this is about until you saw those cartoons?”

4. The near-midnight show

The Red Hot Chili Peppers brought guests to their feet, just after John Legend took time to perform before rushing off to rejoin his wife, Chrissy Teigen, who is nearly due to give birth. For the finale, Lady Gaga combined classics with her hits, making her entrance by coming around on a turntable of a stage, crooning “New York, New York.”