Major stars from the entertainment world and political realm united Friday night on George Clooney's "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon, raising funds toward the Haiti relief effort through emotion-charged songs, spoken-word testimonials and answering phones.
The second hour of the multi-network, international broadcast alone featured numerous A-list appeals for charity toward the earthquake-ravaged nation, from stars such as Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood, Ben Stiller, former President Bill Clinton, and Chris Rock, who was joined by Muhammad Ali and read words written by the iconic boxing champion.
“By any name charity can bring the people of our planet together … charity changes lives and saves lives … we call upon all the good people in every corner of the world to help … please give now,” Rock read.
Meanwhile, celebs such as Steven Spielberg, Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio worked the telethon's phone banks, talking to individuals who wished to make donations supporting the relief effort in Haiti. If you'd like to make a donation, please visit HopeForHaitiNow.org or call (877) 99-HAITI.
Powerful musical performances delivered in the second hour of the broadcast included Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and Keith Urban trading acoustic guitar licks and lyric passages on “Stand By Me”; Madonna, backed by a choir, belting out “Like a Prayer”; Justin Timberlake singing a tender “Hallelujah”; Jennifer Hudson delivering a bracing rendition of “Let It Be”; Dave Matthews and Neil Young teaming up for “Alone and Forsaken”; and Bono and The Edge joining forces with Jay-Z and Rihanna on the charity single "Stranded."
The telethon's musical performances will be available for purchase for $.99 per song in Apple's iTunes Store in the days following the telethon, with all proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds managed by "Hope for Haiti Now" charities.
Guided by Clooney in L.A., Wyclef Jean in New York City and CNN's Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti, "Hope for Haiti Now" aired on an unprecedented number of stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT.