Stars from Chris Brown and Mary J. Blige to Ludacris and Diddy came to Miami's American Airlines Arena for BET's "SOS Save Ourselves. Help for Haiti" telethon on Friday (February 5), expressing the extreme need for aid to the country that was devastated by a 7.0 earthquake last month. Backstage, the message was just as powerful.
"Tonight is definitely about the spirit of giving," [artist id="1746119"]Keri Hilson[/artist] told MTV News backstage. "No one is paid to be here. We're all here because it was in our spirit. We felt compelled to do something, do what was in our means. We're performers. We get up there and perform for Haiti. Whatever is what you do at home, you can do for Haiti. If you have pennies in your change tray — you don't have to be rich. People have a misconception that only the wealthy can help Haiti. But no, you can devote your time, do whatever it is you can do. That's why I'm here. I would love to spread that message. Do whatever is in your means, but do something."
While Hilson performed her hit single "Knock You Down" during the relatively upbeat telethon, [artist id="3235468"]Robin Thicke[/artist] went with a record that spoke directly to the situation in Haiti.
"The song is about controlling the world you live in," Thicke explained of performing "Dream World." "Obviously, if you had control, we wouldn't let the devastation happen in Haiti. We would prevent that. We would stop that. We would do whatever we could to make sure that didn't happen. Unfortunately, all we can do is dream that we can save it. We can help; we can be a part of the solution. The most important thing as artists, after we spend all of our time trying to take care of ourselves and our own families and we finally have a chance to do some real good, this is the best reason to get dressed up we can think of."
Thicke also performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" with India.Arie.