With the Haitian earthquake tragedy still fresh in our minds, the list of celebrity participants lining up to add their personal mark to Friday’s two hour, internationally-broadcast fundraising telethon, “Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief” continues to become even more impressive by the moment.
The latest announcement of musical superstars Madonna and Beyonce lending their voices only adds further weight to the already outstanding roster of talent, including a collaboration between Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock as well as Jay-Z, The Edge, Bono and Rihanna. Individual sets by Sting, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Coldplay round out the live entertainment feature.
Emerging from a collaboration between perennial philanthropist George Clooney and MTV Networks, the globally televised and multi-media streamed event is expected to go down in history as reaching the widest number of viewers (and hopefully charitable contributions) due to the fact that all major/cable networks have broadcasting rights as well as highly trafficked online sources such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MSN.com, CNN.com, AOL, Hulu, MySpace, Rhapsody and Yahoo among others.
The Oscar-winning actor told MTV News, “”This is about compassion. There are times in our lives when people are really without help and in real danger, and this is one of those times. So whatever they can do — give money to one of the organizations that they like the best.”
Other notable Hollywood powerhouses who have contributed significant financial donations meant to fund Haitian relief efforts include Giselle Bundchen ($1.5 million to the Red Cross), Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ($1 million), Sandra Bullock ($1 million) and Madonna ($250,000). Ultimately, the money raised will directly benefit Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation, Partners In Health, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, UNICEF, Red Cross and Oxfam America.
The US broadcast of the event — on traditional networks as well as on cable forums such as MTV, CNN, HBO and TNT– is slated to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be hosted by George Clooney, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wyclef Jean. In addition to making a financial contribution the day of the event, viewers who want to make a positive charitable impact can also purchase individual telethon songs from iTunes for just 99 cents the day after the broadcast.