Arts&Culture

Hand in Hand benefit concert, Hurricane Harvey telethon

Hand in Hand benefit concert, Hurricane Harvey telethon

Celebrities from stage, screen and sports - from Barbra Streisand to Justin Bieber, Julia Roberts to Jamie Foxx - banded together in a telethon Tuesday night that aired on every major network to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

Stevie Wonder opened the telethon with a performance of his hit Lean on Me and several stars told emotional stories about those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, which have destroyed parts of the U.S. and the Caribbean. It was also livestreamed on various sites all around the world.

The Hand In Hand event centred on a charity telethon, with performances by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

The New York Daily News noted that Apple had donated $5 million to the cause while Albertsons Cos. and Merck each donated an additional $1 million. Updated figures were expected on Wednesday. Phone lines and text messaging will open at the beginning of the show.

George Clooney, Justin Bieber, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Lupita Nyong'o, and Oprah Winfrey were among the stars who turned out for a USA telethon which has so far raised more than $15 million for hurricane relief.

"This is in recognition of the way that people have worked hand in hand to help people overcome the challenges that Texans have faced", Gov. Abbot said at the press conference. Actor Wilmer Valderrama said of his profession: "We are that secondary army that's deployed to just do something that very few can achieve and I think that that's a blessing".

"Natural disasters don't discriminate".

"As soon as you see the images, you just feel like you want to do something. And that's what it's all about". "It's personal for me because it's home to me, it's in my city, but it's a national disaster". "We're compassionate. We're unstoppable when we unite, when we join together hand in hand". "This is what they need and this is what we can give them". As the calls came in, the stars were there to answer them. That concert on June 4 raised well over $12 million for victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 people and left more than 100 others with serious injuries.

Wonder's performance was followed up by other musical performances from Demi Lovato, Dave Matthews and Despacito singer Luis Fonsi, who sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah with Tori Kelly.