Matthew McConaughey Booked His Own "We're Texas" Fundraiser, Raising $7.8M

Matthew McConaughey
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Matthew McConaughey opened his "We're Texas" virtual fundraiser March 21 by calling it a "jam session of generosity" for which he'd serve as "your guide, your DJ, your friend."

Behind the scenes, McConaughey did even more than that, booking, co-writing and producing a star-studded two-hour program viewed 1.2 million times on YouTube and raising more than $7.8 million for his Just Keep Livin Texas Relief Fund. The initiative was launched by his foundation to aid in "critical short-term, mid-term and long-term needs resulting from the devastation caused by Winter Storm Uri." The February storm devastated many parts of the United States, Mexico and Canada, including Texas, where it led to blackouts in the state, causing the costliest natural disaster in history there.

Some of McConaughey's "gets" included Post Malone covering Brad Paisley and Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves covering Willie Nelson’s "On the Road Again," Kelly Clarkson singing "Whole Lotta Woman," and a heartfelt acoustic version of "Heart Like Mine" by Miranda Lambert. The long list of performers and participants also includes Clint Black, Don Henley, Gary Clark Jr., George Strait, Khalid, Kirk Franklin, Leon Bridges, Los Lonely Boys, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Clayton Kershaw, Colt McCoy, Dak Prescott, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Joe Rogan, the Jonas Brothers, Jordan Spieth, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Strahan, Renée Zellweger, Selena Gomez, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Troy Aikman and Woody Harrelson.

"We're Texas" streamed on YouTube (where it can still be viewed with a live donation link) and on Spectrum News 1 in Texas. While McConaughey showed up big for his home state, in interviews ahead of the main event, he signaled that he may one day show up on a ballot. "I'm looking into, now, again, what is my leadership role?" he said on Crime Stoppers of Houston's The Balanced Voice podcast, confirming that running for governor is "a true consideration." He added: "I do think I have some things to teach and share, and what is my role. What's my category in my next chapter of life that I'm going into?"

A version of this story first appeared in the March 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.