||Main >> News Listing >> January 2010 >> Article ID 11846
| Stars shine in Hope for Haiti telethon||Type: Internet Article|
|Stars shine in Hope for Haiti telethon||Jan 22, 2010|
|The U.S.-based Hope for Haiti Now telethon merged a series of celebrity appeals with stunning musical performances on Friday night.|
Actor George Clooney and musician Wyclef Jean pulled together Hollywood's best and brightest for the two-hour telethon to raise money for support for victims of the quake that hit Haiti Jan 12.
Christina Aguilera performed her new song Lift Me Up and Bono, The Edge, Rihanna and Jay-Z got together to perform a new work written for the occasion, Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour).
Musical performances alternated with stars such as Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman telling the stories of the ordeals of individual Haitians.
Jean, a native of Haiti who has been in Haiti for several years with his Yéle Haiti Foundation, made an early appeal for donations and finished with a medley of Creole tunes.
About 200,000 people are estimated to have died in 7.0-magnitude quake and about two million Haitians were left homeless.
It is also believed that 250,000 are in need of urgent aid, including food, water and shelter.
The event offered some high-profile pairings. Canadian Neil Young and Dave Matthews collaborated on a version of Alone and Forsaken, an old Hank Williams song.
Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris did a version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and Beyoncé was backed in her performance of Halo with Chris Martin of Coldplay on the piano. Madonna had the help of a full gospel choir for Like a Prayer.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton appeared halfway through the telethon, recalling his first trip to Haiti 35 years ago.
"Ever since then, I've been totally captivated by the country, the beauty and bounty of the land, the incredible spirit of the people," he said.
"Before the quake I believed that Haiti would overcome its past and become a strong nation... Despite the tragedy, I still think it has that chance," Clinton said.
Last week, President Barack Obama asked predecessors Clinton and George W. Bush to head a charity to help rebuild Haiti.
In another surprise appearance, Muhammad Ali came out in a wheelchair, accompanied by Chris Rock. The former boxer was unable to speak, but Rock read from a speech he said Ali had dictated.
"In my life I've been called by many names. There are many names for the charity of the people of the earth and one of them is Zakat," Rock read.
Zakat is a word for the Muslim discipline of giving alms to the poor, considered one of the pillars of the faith. Ali finished with an appeal to spread Zakat throughout the world.
The telethon, which began to come together just days after the quake, also featured musical acts such as:
* Alicia Keys performing Prelude to a Kiss.
* Bruce Springsteen performing We Shall Overcome.
* Stevie Wonder performing A Time For Love/Bridge Over Troubled Water.
* Shakira performing I'll Stand By You.
* Taylor Swift performing Breathless.
* John Legend performing Motherless Child.
* Sting performing Driven to Tears.
* Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban and Kid Rock performing Lean on Me.
* Jennifer Hudson performing Let It Be.
* Haitian singer Emeline Michel performing Many Rivers to Cross.
Celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Ringo Starr and John Krasinski manned phone lines. One segment featured Roberts talking with a donor about her kids and in another, director Steven Spielberg suggested sending solar-powered flashlights to help medical teams on the ground.
The event was also co-hosted by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, who provided a sobering look at the conditions in Haiti with several hits from the capital Port-au-Prince.
Among the Haitians he spoke to was Pierre Alexis, who runs the Maison des Enfants orphanage. He spoke of armed robbers coming to the orphanage to steal food, and hundreds of new orphans landing on his doorstep.
Cooper also tracked down a little boy who had spent eight days under the rubble and emerged alive, but was now an orphan and an eight-year-old girl, Bea, whose rescue he had covered shortly after the quake.
"A girl like Bea, who survived 18 hours under the rubble, still needs help," Cooper said.
Bea, who lost 10 members of her family, had hurt her leg, but had still not been seen by a doctor.
Actors Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood paid tribute to the UN workers, many of them Americans, who died in the collapse of the UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.
"Let's make sure their sacrifice was not in vain," Damon said in his appeal.
Funds raised by the Hope for Haiti Fund will go to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, The American Red Cross, UNICEF, Yéle Haiti, Oxfam, Stand with Haiti and the UN World Food Program.
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