“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief,” the hour-long telethon that featured dozens of celebrities coming together to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, was a massive success. It reportedly raised over $15 million... and counting!
Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B did the honors of planning the event, which was held in multiple cities across the country including New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville. The telethon consisted of special performances and famous faces urging people to donate any amount of money they could.
Some of the MANY stars who took part include Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan, Adam Sandler, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCpario, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Blake Shelton, Nicole Kidman, Gwen Stefani, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, Kate Hudson, Stephen Colbert, Tyler Perry, Barbra Streisand, Sofia Vergara, Kerry Washington, Bruce Willis, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Eva Longoria, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Taraji P. Henson, Robert De Niro, T.I., Ellen DeGeneres, Tim McGraw, DJ Khaled, Kelly Rowland, Ryan Seacrest, Brad Paisley, The Black Eyed Peas, and Tim McGraw.
According to Gossip Cop, "Proceeds from the telethon will benefit charities including Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, ASPCA, United Way and the Rebuild Texas Fund."
We took the liberty of listing all of the major highlights of the “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” event. Check them out below.
Stevie Wonder Kicks Off Telethon With "Lean On Me"
The one and only Stevie Wonder opened the “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” by performing a cover of "Lean On Me." But, before he did, Wonder said a few powerful words that resonated with everyone watching. "We’ve come together today to love on the people that have been devastated by the hurricanes," the artist said. "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.
"As we begin to love and value our planet… anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all."
Usher And Blake Shelton Cover "Stand By Me"
Performed at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, The Voice coaches offered up a delicate cover of the 1961 classic alongside a five-piece band. It wasn't just the the pair that kept the spirit of the song alive, but also the audience. Towards the end of the number, the pop star urged the crowd at the iconic venue to get into the mix and sing along.
Justin Bieber Prays For Hurricane Victims
A visibly emotional Justin Bieber decided to send good thoughts to the people who've suffered losses from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The singer is known for being religious and this event further showed his good heart. He was joined by a rabbi and the director of religious affairs from the Islamic Center of Southern California.
"Hey guys at home. Justin here. I’m super grateful to be part of this cause," he said. "We don’t want you guys to just watch. We want you guys to be part of this and donate whatever you can. It doesn’t have to be much, just whatever you can possibly give. I got my man here, and we’re gonna say a quick prayer."
Then, the men prayed: “Let us pray. God, we the faith community come asking for wisdom, discernment and compassion as we walk alongside those who have lost so much — love ones, homes, businesses and hope... In a time of great division in our nation, may we lay down our differences and pick up our common humanity for the sole purpose of serving our fellow man until hearts are healed and lives restored. And though we don’t yet understand the purpose of the storms, we know you will guide us through the storms, so we close this prayer not with an amen, but a praise rooted in an eternal hope, hallelujah."
Beyoncé Talks About Hometown Of Houston After Hurricane Harvey
Bey urged watchers of the telethon to donate whatever they could to help victims who were effected the recent category five hurricanes. She said: "During a time where it's impossible to watch the news without seeing violence or racism in this country, just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives, leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
"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," Beyoncé continued. "It doesn't matter if you're from Third Ward or River Oaks, we're all in this together. Seeing everyone of different racial, social and religious backgrounds put their own lives at risk to help each other survive, restored my faith in humanity."
She closed by connecting the hurricanes to other environmental disasters that recently took place around the world. "The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day. Just this past week, we've seen devastation from the monsoon in India, an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico and multiple catastrophic hurricanes. Irma, alone, has left a trail of death and destruction from the Caribbean to Florida to the Southern United States. We have to be prepared for what comes next. So tonight we come together in a collective effort to raise our voices, to help our communities, to lift our spirits and heal."
DJ Khaled's Son Asahd Was There Helping, Too!
Khaled is making sure that his son learns the importance of helping those in need at an early age. Respect.
Drake Makes A Call To Action For Hurricane Victims
Drake was another superstar who assisted with the cause by asking people to make donations to the hurricanes' millions of victims. He's not even American and he still cares about the suffering people from the south, as well as parts of the Caribbean. You got to love this guy. "It's truly amazing to see our generation come together conscious and aware," Drizzy said on camera. "Your assistance is of extreme importance... On some days it will be about speaking up. On other days it will be about stepping up. Today it's about stepping up..."
Selena Gomez Cries As She Speaks About People Killed In Hurricane Harvey
Selena Gomez became emotional during her pre-taped video message as she recalled the tragic story of a family, who died when trying to escape the rising flood waters. "I come from Grand Prairie, about 250 miles away from the Saldivar's home. Their story affected all who heard it and no matter who we are, the differences we have suddenly did not seem to matter. Since that day, we are joined together. Neighbor helping neighbor, without stopping to think about race, religion or anything else," the 25-year-old star said in the clip as she held back tears. "If we are going to get through all the storms that confront us that's how we’re going to do it together — hand in hand."
If you want to help out with the cause, simply call 1 (800) 258-6000 to donate or text GIVE to 80077 to give $25. For the full list of celebrities involved or more information on how you can donate, head to the official Hand in Hand website.