NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi joined Sting, Christina Aguilera and other music stars on Friday in a televised benefit concert to raise funds for victims of Sandy, the giant storm that killed more than 100 and devastated large sections of the U.S. Northeast.
The commercial-free one-hour telecast, “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” included appearances by Billy Joel, Jimmy Fallon, Steven Tyler, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny DeVito and NBC News’ Brian Williams. “Today” show co-anchor Matt Lauer was host.
The fundraiser, shown on NBC, opened with Aguilera saying: “I was born in Staten Island. Four days ago, Hurricane Sandy came through and devastated it.”
Aguilera, a judge on the television singing competition “The Voice,” vowed “we will do whatever we can to help, we will not leave anyone behind,” and performed “You Are What You Are (Beautiful).”
Next up was Bon Jovi, who was seen in footage filmed this week after he rushed back from a UK promotional tour to visit his hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey, console residents and view the devastation.
Bon Jovi sang “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
Fey then implored viewers to donate at 1-800-HELPNOW and spread the message for donations via social media such as Twitter.
Donors can also text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 contribution. All proceeds were earmarked for the American Red Cross to benefit victims of Sandy and rebuilding efforts.
The show was sprinkled with news footage of destruction in New York City and along the New Jersey coast, such as the amusement pier familiar to viewers of “Jersey Shore” - in ruins.
Joel performed an early song about devastation chock-full of references to New York: “Miami 2017,” often known as “Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway.” Joel tweaked his lyrics to incorporate areas especially hard hit by Sandy.
Sting chose “Message in a Bottle,” with its familiar refrain “Sending out an S.O.S.”
The telethon was also aired on NBC Universal networks Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy and USA, as well as HBO, and was live-streamed on NBC.com and simulcast on Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Radio on SiriusXM. (Editing by Gary Hill)