Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hope for Haiti Takes over the Airwaves

"Hope For Haiti," a two-hour telethon broadcast over 25 networks, took over millions of televisions on Friday evening (January) to help in raising much needed money for the country's earthquake relief fund.

While it's still unknown how much was raised during the show, the phone lines remain open and the night's musical performances are up for sale on iTunes.

Over 100 celebrities answered phones in New York and Los Angeles, after professional operators first talked to donors.

"Thank you so much for your donation," actress Reese Witherspoon told one caller at the beginning of the show. "You can't imagine how much love and great, wonderful energy is here today. People are doing everything they can to make a difference in these people's lives."

"I'm just calling to help out," the male donor explained. "I couldn't donate a lot, but what I could I did donate."

Performers during the evening included Alicia Keys, who opened the telethon with "Prelude to a Kiss," off her third album As I Am; John Legend performed "Motherless Child" off his 2004 project, Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory; Mary J. Blige covered the track classic "Hard Times"; Christina Aguilera performed "Lift Me Up" off her upcoming album Bionic; Beyonce treated viewers to a performance of her hit single "Halo"; Justin Timberlake sung Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"; Jennifer Hudson covered the Beatles' "Let It Be"; Jay-Z was joined onstage with U2's Bono and Rihanna for a recent collaboration produced by Swizz Beatz called "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)"; and Wyclef Jean closed out the evening with a performance of the reggae classic "Rivers of Babylon".

There were several others as well, such as Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Taylor Swift, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Dave Matthews, and others.

Following the performance Wyclef wrapped things up by shouting: "Enough of the moping, let's rebuild Haiti."

Actor George Clooney helped organize the event. He hopes the songs and performances can help carry the fundraiser beyond the evening and into the following weeks, months and years.

"We're gonna have some amazing performances, and I think that's gonna make it last a little longer than just a telethon," he said earlier this week.

With some of the amazing efforts from all the artists involved. A "Hope for Haiti Now" album of all the performances is available for pre-order on iTunes (iTunes.com/Haiti) for $7.99, while the full two-hour video telecast can be downloaded for $1.99. The individual performances will be available in audio as well for 99 cents each.

According to MTV, the pre-orders will be delivered in the coming days. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds managed by "Hope for Haiti Now" charities, including the Red Cross and Wyclef's Yele Haiti foundation.

The performances will be available on Amazon.com, and Rhapsody soon.

To donate call 1-877-99-HAITI in US/Canada, of for more information, visit HopeForHaiti.org.

Published 01/23/2010 · By Miles Bennett