Hope for Haiti Now Telethon Takes Over TV for Earthquake Relief
Bono and Jay-Z
"The Haitian people need our help," said George Clooney, to begin Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief. "They need to know that they are not alone. They need to know that we still care."
Check out photos of the performances from the Hope for Haiti telethon
The remarks from Clooney, the event's organizer, and a stirring opening performance by Alicia Keys set the mood for a night of actors, musicians and sports stars coming together to plead for aid to the earthquake-ravaged country.
Keys' performance — played over images of the destruction in Haiti — was just one of many emotional touchstones in a show that also provided uplifting survivor stories and powerful performances from Madonna, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Hudson.
A line in a song performed by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and The Edge underscored a theme of the night: "Not gonna leave you stranded."
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Haitian-American singer Wyclef Jean ended the night with a rousing, percussive song that included the chorus, "Earthquake/We saw the earth shake/But the soul of the Haitian people, it will never break."
Stars from Reese Witherspoon to Steven Spielberg to Julia Roberts answered phones from callers who gave whatever they could. Those phone conversations between celebs and donors were heart-rending, personal interludes that gave voice to people's empathy and concern. One woman told Swift that she was giving $25 on behalf of her granddaughter, who has spina bifida.
When one caller said she wished she could give more, Stevie Wonder told her, "A whole lot of littles make a whole lot of lots."
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The musical performances were interspersed with reports from Anderson Cooper, who was live in Haiti. One of the more astounding stats Cooper shared: Haiti was home to 380,000 orphans even before the earthquake.
Tom Hanks encouraged viewers to continue giving. "We must keep going," he said. "We must keep caring for Haiti long after this event is finished."
Donations can still be made online, by calling 877-99-HAITI, by texting "GIVE" to 50555 or by mail at the following address: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017.