clear
Friday September 22nd, 2017 6:42PM

Stars turn out to push for donations for hurricane relief

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Urged on by dozens of stars who turned out to sing, tell stories and plead for support for hurricane victims in a one-hour televised benefit, organizers said more than $44 million was raised Tuesday and donations are still being accepted.

With Stevie Wonder singing "Lean on Me" and Usher and Blake Shelton joining for "Stand By Me," the message was clear: Americans were being asked to help those whose lives were upended by wind and rain.

Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Lupita Nyong'o, Jay Leno and dozens of others sat at phone banks to accept donations. Beyonce, Will Smith and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sent in taped pleas for support during the event, shown on more than a dozen television networks and online simultaneously.

Originally conceived as a benefit for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the "Hand in Hand" telethon was expanded to help people in Florida and the Caribbean devastated in recent days by Irma.

"We're here to raise money, lift some spirits," said Jamie Foxx, standing with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. "When tough times hit, this is who we are. We're compassionate. We're unstoppable."

Hollywood talent manager Scooter Braun, who organized the event with Houston rap artist Bun B, said that after the show, all the celebrities manning the phone banks stayed to take more calls. "No one left," he said. "Everyone just kept answering phones and answering phones and answering phones. People want to give. Like, people want to help. And you don't have to be a celebrity to do it."

For many of the stars, the storms hit close to home.

"I have family in Puerto Rico, I have family in Miami. I've been on the road. I haven't been able to be there. So you can imagine how it's been," ''Despacito" singer Luis Fonsi said after the show, adding that all his family, including his wife and young children in Miami, survived the storm and are safe.

""Helpless — helpless is an understatement," Fonsi said of being on tour and unable to be with his family. He noted that his experience paled in comparison to the pain the storms have caused for many.

"You can imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to sort of protect your own family," he said. "Imagine all of these people that have nothing to do. The videos that you see online. So as an artist, as a singer, I think it's part of our job, it's part of our resume, to take time off and come together and do these kind of things."

The quick-moving show took a form familiar to viewers since a sad template was set in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Celebrities requested donations, told heartwarming survival stories involving people caught in the storm and sang songs. Several organizations will benefit, including the United Way and Save the Children.

Stages in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, Tennessee, were filled simultaneously, although the night's final performance — a tribute to Texans by George Strait, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert and Lyle Lovett — originated from San Antonio.

Fonsi and Tori Kelly sang "Hallelujah" together. Dave Matthews picked his guitar from a studio above New York's Times Square, and Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato and Cece Winans sang the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." Wonder, backed by a gospel chorus, opened the show with the Bill Withers classic.

"Natural disasters don't discriminate," Beyonce said. "They don't care if you're an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor." Cher and Oprah Winfrey told the story behind a frequently seen picture of strangers forming a human chain to save someone from flooding in Houston.

Usually competitive network morning personalities Matt Lauer, Norah O'Donnell and Michael Strahan stood before a satellite image of an ominous Irma to describe devastation the storm had caused.

Donations were announced from some deep pockets. Computer maker Michael Dell and his wife, Susan, pledged to match the first $10 million in donations Tuesday. They've given a total of $41 million to the Rebuild Texas Fund. Basketball star Chris Paul gave $20,000 and said the NBA Players Association would match donations of up to the same amount given by any NBA player.

Announcing Apple's promise to give $5 million, comic Stephen Colbert quipped said it was coincidentally "also the price of the new iPhone."

ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, HBO, MTV, BET and Univision were among the networks carrying the program, which was also streamed online.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Jamie Foxx appeared with Leonardo DiCaprio on the telethon, not Kevin Hart.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - NBA, AP Sports - WNBA
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Roaring 20: Indians tie AL record with 20th straight win
Indians equal AL record with 20th straight win, matching 2002 "Moneyball" Athletics
10:20PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
10:15PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Stars turn out to push for donations for hurricane relief
Beyonce, Streisand, Wonder and Bieber among the stars who raise money for hurricane victims during 'Hand in Hand' telethon
10:10PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Among 10 Things to Know: Feds: Irma destroyed one-quarter of homes on Florida Keys; Apple unveils latest _ and most expensive _ iPhone; how Disney hopes to right 'Star Wars' ship.
9:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 3 dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning
Three people are dead from apparent from carbon monoxide poisoning at a Florida home following Hurricane Irma, and four others have been hospitalized.
8:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
Movie about marathon bombing survivor premieres at hospital
The U.S. premiere of a film chronicling the story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman has taken place at the hospital where he and others who were injured in the 2013 deadly attack were treated
8:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Charles Oakley sues Knicks owners, claiming defamation
Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley has sued the team's owners, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic
3:14PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Video: Players test out first WNBA video game
AP Video: New York Liberty test out first WNBA video game
2:48AM ( 19 hours ago )
The Latest: Florida's major airports assessing damage
Miami International to reopen to limited passenger traffic on Tuesday; others still evaluating damage from Hurricane Irma
9:29PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Basketball
Judge Judy funds debate space to promote exchange of ideas
Judy Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, is funding a forum for public debate at the University of Southern California
8:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Wonder opens hurricane relief benefit with 'Lean on Me'
Steve Wonder has asked television viewers across to 'Lean on Me' and a collection of celebrities sought donations during 'Hand in Hand' hurricane telethon
8:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
Radio host vows to fight fraud charges, return stronger
Sports radio personality Craig Carton has spoken out on Twitter, vowing to defeat fraud charges and return "stronger than ever."
4:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Stephen Colbert rolls out red carpet for political Emmy show
Stephen Colbert rolled out the ceremonial red carpet Tuesday for the upcoming Emmy Awards, and as soon as he finished, a pair of workers rolled it back up and hauled it away
3:08PM ( 7 hours ago )
'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' gets 3-season renewal
"Last Week Tonight" is going to last a few years longer
2:49PM ( 7 hours ago )
In blow to Murdoch, UK refers Fox bid for Sky to regulator
The British government says it is referring Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to the country's competition regulator, in a blow to Rupert Murdoch's takeover plans
12:24PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online TV News
Aretha Franklin to perform at Elton John's AIDS gala
Aretha Franklin will sing in honor of Elton John before she retires later this year
1:43PM ( 8 hours ago )
Visionary British theater director Peter Hall dies at 86
Peter Hall, a visionary theater director and impresario who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and helped build Britain's National Theatre into a producing powerhouse, has died
9:47AM ( 12 hours ago )
Royal Shakespeare Company founder Peter Hall dies at 86
Peter Hall, a visionary theater director and impresario who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and helped build Britain's National Theatre into a producing powerhouse, has died
7:31AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Cult of 'The Room' cheers James Franco's 'Disaster Artist'
The spoon-throwing, football-tossing cult of "The Room" was out in full force at the premiere of James Franco's "The Disaster Artist," a making-of movie that earned the blessing of the notorious film's creator Tommy Wiseau
1:38PM ( 8 hours ago )
John Oliver, Jon Stewart to headline veterans fundraiser
John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and Conan O'Brien are headlining this year's Stand Up for Heroes fundraiser, which benefits injured veterans and their families
10:00AM ( 12 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Among 10 Things to Know: Flyover of hurricane-battered Keys yields scenes of devastation; Americans mark 16th anniversary of Sept. 11; UN approves new sanctions on North Korea.
9:01PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: Key Largo storm rider: Surge left a big mess
The damage Hurricane Irma caused in the Florida Keys has been hard to determine, with communication spotty and authorities warning boaters and drivers to stay away
7:39PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Roof leaks as thousands shelter in Germain Arena
Florida officials are urging people to stay in their homes and shelters, even if it looks like Hurricane Irma has passed
7:04PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Florida Keys in crisis, getting aid in C-130s
An airborne relief mission is bringing emergency supplies to the Florida Keys, where Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning
6:44PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
WNBA assist leader Bird vs top scorer Taurasi in playoffs
The WNBA playoffs start with two single-elimination games in the first round; Dallas at Washington and Seattle at Phoenix.
12:26PM ( 6 days ago )
Atlanta Dream fire coach Michael Cooper after 12-22 season
The Atlanta Dream have fired coach Michael Cooper after their worst season since 2008
12:04PM ( 1 week ago )
WNBA teams, players step up to help Texas after hurricane
Brittney Griner felt helpless watching Houston get decimated by Hurricane Harvey
8:50AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - WNBA
Roaring 20: Indians tie AL record with 20th straight win
Indians equal AL record with 20th straight win, matching 2002 "Moneyball" Athletics
10:20PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
10:15PM ( 12 minutes ago )
FEMA estimates 25 percent of Florida Keys homes are gone
Federal emergency officials are estimating 25 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed by Hurricane Irma
10:10PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Justices allow Trump administration ban on most refugees
The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees
10:02PM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Muslim body urges Myanmar to let in UN monitors
The world's largest Muslim body is urging Myanmar to allow in U.N. monitors so they can investigate what it alleges is systematic brutality against the Rohingya ethnic minority
9:32PM ( 56 minutes ago )