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Biggest US stars put on hurricane charity event

By Jane Claymore / Published on Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 04:44 AM / No Comments / 9 views


The biggest names in American entertainment have taken part in a telethon to raise money for victims of the twin hurricanes which have ravaged the US and Caribbean.

Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks were just some of the stars who appeared in the event, broadcast simultaneously from New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Nashville.

The one-hour Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief was broadcast live at prime time on all of the major US TV networks.

It was also streamed online by the likes of Apple Music, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: In this handout photo provided by Hand in Hand, Tom Hanks attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
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Proceeds will be distributed among a number of charities

The event was originally planned to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas but was expanded after the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma became clear.

It opened with Stevie Wonder performing Lean on Me and featured stars recounting some of the more heartbreaking and heartwarming episodes from the storms.

Oprah and Cher relayed the tale of the man saved from flood waters by a human chain of passers-by.

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman told the story of a toddler who survived when her mother was washed away.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: In this handout photo provided by Hand in Hand, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro caption at ABC News' Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
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The event streamed online by the likes of Apple Music, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Roberts and Clooney told of the man who played the piano in his flooded house to keep up his son’s spirits.

The singer Selena Gomez choked up when she told the story of the Saldivar family, washed away as they tried to escape the rising waters in Texas.

Justin Timberlake told the audience: “Millions of people are in need.”

In a video message, Beyonce, who was born in Houston, said: “We’re all in this together.”

A galaxy of stars worked phone banks as donations rolled in.

As the show drew to a close, host Billy Crystal revealed that $14m had been pledged in the hour alone.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: In this handout photo provided by Hand in Hand, Eric McCormack, Julia Roberts and George Clooney attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
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$14m had been pledged in the hour alone.

The devastation from the record-setting effects of Irma has stretched from the eastern Caribbean up into the southern states of the US.

It came days after Harvey dumped several feet of rain on southeast Texas, killing at least 70 people.

The scenes of destruction prompted a string of charity donations from celebrities.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio added $1m from his foundation to contributions from the likes of Sandra Bullock and the Kardashians.

The Hand in Hand event was the brainchild of Houston rapper Bun B and talent manager Scooter Braun.

It was produced by the team behind the recent concert in aid of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.

The proceeds from the event will be distributed among a number of charities including Save the Children and Comic Relief USA.

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