Watch 'Hand in Hand' Hurricane Relief Telethon
Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington appeared on the broadcast, which aired live across multiple networks Tuesday evening.
Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Drake, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are among the stars who came together for a live hurricane relief telethon, airing across the big four broadcast networks and on various other channels.
The event raised more than $44 million overnight for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with more than $14 million raised by the end of the East Coast broadcast. Organizers continued accepting donations overnight.
The one-hour event, Hand In Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, was originally designed to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey but was later expanded to include donations for those affected by Hurricane Irma. The telethon aired live at 8 p.m. ET on BET, Bravo, CMT, Cumulus Media/Westwood One, E!, HBO, HBO Latino, iHeartMedia, iHeartRadio, MTV, MTV2, MTV Live, MTV Classic, Oxygen, SiriusXM and Univision.
Justin Bieber, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jamie Foxx, Tim McGraw, Cher, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Gwen Stefani, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tyler Perry, Adam Sandler, Chis Paul, Rita Wilson and Matthew McConaughey are among the many guests who made an appearance. See the full lineup here.
The evening was full of star-studded duets. Stevie Wonder opened the the event, backed by a choir for a performance of "Lean on Me," and Usher and Blake Shelton came together for a powerful acoustic version of "Stand by Me." Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi belted out "Hallelujah," and Dave Matthews sang "Mercy."
Stars including Justin Timberlake and Leonardo DiCaprio delivered testimonies from survivors who have struggled to save family, friends and pets as well as those those who have lost loved ones in the storm.
The show got political as Beyonce sent a message that "Natural disasters don't discriminate. They don't see if you are an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn't matter if you're from Third Ward or River Oaks. We're all in this together." Before Wonder's performance, he exclaimed "Anyone who believes there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent...Lord save us all."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recalled when he and his family survived Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in 1992. "There are no strangers in the aftermath of a hurricane," said Johnson. "There's no political parties, no agendas, none of the things that can often survive us. It's all about survival and coming together as one."
The telethon was based in Los Angeles, with stages in New York and Nashville. The show featured a performance from Texas native George Strait's San Antonio benefit concert where he performed "Texas" alongside Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.
Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B organized the show, which was streamed on YouTube as well as via Twitter, Facebook, AOL, Apple Music, Beats1, HuffPost and Yahoo. The show aired live on the East Coast and replayed on the West Coast.
Donations rolled in throughout the evening as Colbert announced that Apple was giving $5 million while Chris Paul mentioned that the National Basketball Player's Association was matching any NBA player's donation up to $20,000. .
Proceeds from Hand in Hand will benefit United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief Inc. More information is available here.
Watch the telethon below.