Elton John headlines Sam Zell’s 75th birthday bash
October 1st, 2016
Elton John crooned “Tiny Dancer” to Chicago billionaire Sam Zell on Saturday at his 75th birthday party.
Zell flew in the British pop star for the bash that drew some 800 guests to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, home of the “Chicago Fire.”
The chairman of Equity Group Investments, goes all out every other year to celebrate his Sept. 28 birthday. Guests come from around the country and are kept in the dark as to the venue location until the last minute. They’re bused to the party venue.
Entertainment is always the buzz. Fleetwood Mac played two years ago. And in years’ past, the Eagles, Bette Midler, James Brown and Aretha Franklin have performed, according to previous Sun-Times stories.
Zell, who last year announced he’d donate $1 million a year for life–plus $25 million–to the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School named after his dad, spares no expense for booze and food at the party. He likely paid as much as $750,000 to bring in Elton John, according to the Elton Daily web site (the home of everything Elton John).
This is the second time Zell has picked Cinespace for his big party. And he’s not the only billionaire who likes the big movie lot on the West Side. Last year, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin invited 1,500 guests to celebrate his birthday and his company’s 25th anniversary. Katy Perry performed.