According to ABC, the “Hand in Hand” telethon, which aired live from New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, raised more that $44 million for survivors of the two devastating storms. During the benefit, Stephen Colbert announced that Apple would be donating $5 million, Jimmy Fallon relayed that Albertsons Cos. and Merck each donated $1 million, and Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets said that the NBA Players Association donated $500,000, along with matching any professional basketball player’s donation up to $20,000.
Stevie Wonder started off the show with his rendition of “Lean On Me” saying that “when love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves.” He also called out climate change deniers.
“Anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent,” he said.
Drake and Beyoncé also spoke out about the current political climate, and stressed unity in times of need.
“Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take take precious life, do massive damage, and forever change lives, leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools, and nursing homes and countless families are now homeless,” Beyoncé said. “Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from [Houston neighborhoods] Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together.”
Many celebrities came out and appeared on the show, as well as took to the phones and answering people’s donation pledges. These celebrities included George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Beiber, Cher, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Duff, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx and more.
There were also musical performances by a number of singers. Dave Matthews sang “Mercy,” Blake Shelton and Usher performed “Stand by Me,” Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato, Darius Rucker, and CeCe Winans shared their rendition of “With a Little Help from My Friends,” Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly teamed up for “Hallelujah,” and George Strait, Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton kept it close to home with “Texas.”
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