'Hand in Hand': Hanks, Clooney, Lovato, Wonder light up telethon

Stars hit venues in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and San Antonio Tuesday night to raise funds for hurricane victims.

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief was scheduled after Harvey hit the Houston area and before Irma struck Florida. Since Irma, it expanded to raise money for victims of both hurricanes.

The telethon aired live on the East Coast and tape-delayed on the West Coast on all four major broadcast networks and several cable channels simultaneously. It also streamed live on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Among the early celebrity arrivals at Universal Studios, the broadcast’s Los Angeles location: Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Rita Wilson, Josh Gad, Billy Crystal, Sterling K. Brown, Jay Leno and Gwen Stefani.

In New York, Uzo Aduba, David Copperfield, Jason Alexander and Steve Buscemi arrived early.

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman spoke from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, urging viewers to support the cause.

The hourlong special presented live and taped tributes and messages from more stars, including Beyoncé, Cher, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Fallon, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Tim McGraw, Julia Roberts, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan and more.

Here are five highlights from the broadcast: 

Stevie Wonder opening with Lean on Me.

Backed with choir and assisted by Victoria White and Marquist Taylor, two singers who visited Hurricane Harvey victims to help lift spirits.

Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi covering Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

It wasn’t Beyoncé but it was music to our ears.

Usher and Blake Shelton singing Stand By Me.

Yeah, they’ve coached contestants on The Voice, but it was all teamwork for their performance from Nashville.

 

With a Little Help from My Friends by Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato and CeCe Winans.

The supercharged Nashville peformance had Twitter lighting up.

Leonard (@lrmacken) wrote, “Great to hear @BradPaisley @ddlovato @cecewinans and @dariusrucker singing ‘With a little help from my friends.’ “

George Strait and Friends paid tribute to Texas.

With McConaughey doing the intros, this all-star group of country music stars closed out the show with Texas and I Believe.

 

'Hand in Hand': Hanks, Clooney, Lovato, Wonder light up telethonEntertainment

On Tuesday, organizers of an upcoming benefit to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey announced that singer Beyonce and actor George Clooney will headline a telethon which will air live on September 12th. USA TODAY

 

 

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