With images of Haiti flashing in the background and a sweatshirt emblazoned with the name of his charity Yele Haiti, [artist id=”1162″]Wyclef Jean[/artist] took the stage to kick off BET’s “SOS Saving Ourselves: Help for Haiti” telethon Friday night (February 5), live from Miami.
Jean told the crowd, “Get ready — I want to welcome y’all to Haiti. … I’m gonna teach y’all what I call Creole 101″ before launching into “Hold On.” He was joined onstage by his backing band and Jamaican dancehall artist Mavado. As his set closed, hosts Queen Latifah, Pharrell Williams and Diddy welcomed the crowd and reminded them of the reason behind the show.
“We are here tonight because our sisters and brothers in Haiti remain in trouble,” Latifah said. “The country is still in an emergency situation — they need our help.”
All money raised at the telethon will be going to several charities, including Project Media Share, Yele Haiti, C.A.R.E. and Procter & Gamble’s Children’s Safe Water Program. Pharrell added, “Haiti is a world away and tonight we’re here to close that gap. We’re here so that they know the world is watching — Haiti, we’re here for you.”
Although the trio tried to keep the mood light, Diddy noted, “I want to say I’m extremely proud to be standing up here today. There have been many [relief efforts], but this one was put together by us, the recording artists you support every day. We’re gonna take the responsibility into our own hands.”