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Nick Jonas, Darren Criss Help Raise $400,000 at Justin Tranter’s GLAAD Benefit

Nick Jonas and Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds don’t just give lip service to the LGBTQ community.

The singers each donated $50,000 to GLAAD during songwriter Justin Tranter’s second annual Spirit Day fundraiser on Wednesday night at Hollywood’s Sayers Club.

Jonas and Reynolds reached into their wallets during Tranter’s live pledge drive. Ariadne Getty and her fashion designer son August Getty donated a total of $130,000, while Darren Criss and Derek Hough each pledged $5,000.

The night kicked off with a VIP cocktail party followed by a musical revue starting with Tranter singing Halsey’s “Bad at Love,” which he co-wrote.

Justin Tranter and Dan Reynolds GLAAD Spirit Day event, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Oct 2018

Reynolds hit the stage to praise Tranter for always living his truth, even when he was urged to stop wearing high heels when he was a member of Semi Precious Weapons. “There are people in the world that are a stone in the water and their ripples continue outward,” Reynolds said. “Justin has a been a stone in this industry.”

The night’s surprise performer was Criss, who joined Tranter on stage for a duet of Julia Michaels’ “Issues.” “We didn’t even rehearse,” Tranter said.

Songwriter Sarah Aarons performed “Middle,” which she co-wrote for Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey. Tranter also joked that the night was Aarons’ unofficial coming out party because many people apparently aren’t aware that she’s a lesbian. “They do now,” Tranter said.

Spirit Day is an anti-bullying campaign that was started in 2010 and takes place on the third Thursday of October. LGBTQ people and their allies are encouraged to wear purple on the day to show their support.

“I am lucky enough and fortunate enough to be on the board of GLAAD and when I was trying to figure out what I could really do with my skill set and my connections, I was like I should do a concert that not only focuses on the work that I do as an LGBTQ person in this business, but what other LGBTQ people are doing in this business,” Tranter told Variety. “What they have done for years and years and years is make this business a gazillion dollars. So we have this fabulous private night of music and celebration to shine a light on all the good things GLAAD does. I call people and I also ask them [to participate] in sessions when they can’t say no.”

The guest list also included Julianne Hough, “13 Reasons Why” stars Katherine Langford and Tommy Dorfman, Warner Bros. Records head Aaron Bay-Schuck and “Transparent’s” Trace Lysette.

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