Billy Crystal said it best. When he closed the show, wrapping up a star-studded benefit concert to raise relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, he simply stated, “This is what America is all about.”
The telethon concert, called Hand in Hand, featured droves of A-list celebrities who either sang, spoke or answered phones—to do whatever they could—to bring monetary support for those in need. The amount they raised, simply put, was stunning.
A-list celebrities included Tom Hanks, George Straight, Lyle Lovett, Miranda Lambert, Dave Matthews, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and more.
According to ABC News, stars helped bring in more than $44 million by night’s end, $14 million in just the first hour. Stephen Colbert announced that Apple was donating $5 million. Jimmy Fallon shared that Albertsons Cos. and Merck each gave $1 million. NBA star Chris Paul shared that the NBA Players Association donated $500,000, and promised to match any professional basketball player’s donation up to $20,000.
“Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage, and forever change lives,” pleaded Beyonce in a straightforward address to Americans, “leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools, and nursing homes and countless families are now homeless.”
“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 Third Ward or River Oaks. We’re all in this together,” she continued.
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