Elton John has pledged to donate all his royalties from the sale of singles released in the U.S. to American AIDS service organizations.

His announcement came as a surprise at a press conference Oct. 5 where he and MCA Music Entertainment Group chairman Al Teller were scheduled to announce that profits from the release of Elton John’s single and video “The Last Song” will go to six AIDS charities.

Explaining his decision to donate royalties from all future singles, John said, “I’ve been doing this in England for quite a while. It’s about time I started making similar contributions here.”

As part of the arrangement for “The Last Song,” MCA Records will contribute a $ 100,000 advance against the proceeds, which will be shared by AIDS Project Los Angeles, Hollywood Supports, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Project Open Hand/Atlanta, Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the Ryan White Children’s Fund at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children.

MCA will encourage consumers to make a donation to AIDS service groups, through the launch of a hot line (800) 695-AIDS. Callers who phone in a donation will receive a three-song cassette that includes “The Last Song.”

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