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NEW YORK (AP) – Since Haiti suffered the devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the entertainment world has responded with an outpouring of charity, from million-dollar donations to songs designed to raise money for relief.
On Friday night, those efforts will become collective as the biggest celebrities from music, film, sports and even politics join together in an international, multi-network telethon, “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.” It will gather even more money to help the Caribbean nation, which was already impoverished before being struck by a massive earthquake on Jan. 12.
“It’s a big world out there, and we all have a lot of responsibility to help out people who can’t help themselves,” said George Clooney, who helped put together the telethon and will host its Los Angeles portion, in an interview with MTV. The network led the organization of the event.
The two-hour show will be broadcast from New York, London, Los Angeles and Haiti, and include musical performances by a variety of superstars, including Beyonce, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, U2’s Bono and the Edge, Coldplay, Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder and more.
Musician Wyclef Jean, a Haitian native, is also among the performers and will lead the New York broadcast. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will add reports from Haiti, while Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay-Z and other stars will be featured from London.
Among the celebrity participants include former President Bill Clinton, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Muhammad Ali, Clint Eastwood, and Reese Witherspoon.
Leonardo DiCaprio is also featured; on Thursday, he announced a $1 million donation to The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, one of several organizations that will benefit from the telethon.
People can start donating even before the telethon via a newly established Web site, and also through text or via phone. Viewers can also purchase performances from the evening on Saturday via iTunes for 99 cents, with those proceeds going to relief aid as well.