Three months after a massive tsunami devastated the region, 15,000 fans gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday for a seven-hour benefit show to raise money for the victims of December’s disaster.
The highlight of the gig was a performance by former Fugees leaders Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, who shared the stage for the first time since their surprise live reunion in September (see “Fugees — Yes, Even Lauryn — Reunite For Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” ). The Force of Nature show at the Stadium Putra raised more than $2.6 million to help rebuild communities in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, according to an Associated Press report.
“This is history in the making,” Jean said during the concert. “Do you all understand what’s happening on this stage? I’m too emotional right now.” The pair performed a trio of songs from their smash 1996 album The Score, including “Killing Me Softly,” “Ready or Not” and “Fu-Gee-La.”
In addition to his own emotion at reuniting with his former musical partner — third member Pras was not on hand — Jean provided one of the evening’s emotional highlights when he asked that the stadium lights go dim in honor of the more than 270,000 who died in the region. As he chanted, “We’ll never forget the tsunami victims,” thousands of fans raised candles and glowing cell phones.
Also on the bill were the Black Eyed Peas, Boyz II Men and the Backstreet Boys, who drew a huge reaction during their brief set, which included their upcoming single, “Incomplete.”
Among a group of Asian pop and jazz singers on the bill, martial-arts comedian Jackie Chan performed a sweet Mandarin-language love song. Actresses Bai Ling and Michelle Yeoh also appeared, according to a BBC News report, as did Carmen Electra, ‘NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, magician David Blaine, Clay Aiken, Paula Abdul and actors Ken Watanabe and Alan Cumming.
For MTV’s firsthand coverage of the aftermath of the tsunamis, see “MTV News Presents: After The Tsunami.”