In an effort to alleviate some of the suffering caused by Hurricane Sandy’s devastation earlier this week, NBC Universal hosted a live benefit concert, “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” on Friday (November 2). Proceeds from the hour-long telethon, which featured a slew of charitably-minded A-list celebrities who donated their time and voices to the cause, will go to the American Red Cross.
Hosted by “Today” show’s Matt Lauer , the commercial-free affair included heartfelt performances from East Coast natives Christina Aguilera , Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Mary J Blige and Jon Bon Jovi (who rushed home from London to be there).
Aguilera opened the telethon with a moving rendition of her hit “Beautiful,” which was followed by the first of several packages of news footage that summarized the brunt of Sandy’s wrath.
One of New Jersey’s most famous sons, Bon Jovi was shown paying a visit to a flooded neighborhood in his home state, where he offered words of support and hugs to the residents. The footage provided an intro to his live performance, an acoustic mash-up of his hits “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “Living on a Prayer.” Billy Joel then took the stage with his almost chillingly relevant song from 1976, “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway).”
The performances were interspersed with appearances by a slew of New York’s most famous faces, including Tina Fey, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Bacon and Jimmy Fallon, who provided a charming moment of levity with an all-star rendition of “Under the Boardwalk” with Steven Tyler, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.
“Jimmy Fallon is a bold man to take lead vocals from Steven Tyler, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen,” funnyman Stewart joked following the sing-along, before providing his own sincere request for people to come together and help those in need.
Tyler was later joined by his Aerosmith bandmates Joe Perry and Brad Whitford for “Dream On,” followed by an acoustic version of “Message in a Bottle” by Sting.
Bronx-born Mary J. Blige offered a few heartfelt words of encouragement to the hurricane victims in addition to her moving performance of “The Living Proof.” “My prayers go out to everyone affected by the hurricane,” she said. “Hang in there, be strong and have faith.”
The evening was brought to a fitting conclusion with a few back-and-forth quips from self-proclaimed “Jersey boys” Brian Williams and Stewart, who reminisced about traveling on specific areas of the Jersey turnpike before turning things over to New Jersey’s most famous and celebrated song man, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band, who brought it all home with “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
To make a donation, visit RedCross.org, call (800) RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 contribution to the cause.