Throughout the harrowing coverage from Haiti, one moment stuck out in
"When you think about [music] and you watch the footage of that woman who was pulled out of the rubble after six days with her husband and she lays on the stretcher and she starts singing," Clooney told MTV News the day before the "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon, airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET. "It's always been a strong connection and particularly in tragedies. I must say, it's been pretty amazing."
Major artists are set collaborate for the first time during the charitable event, from Jay-Z and Rihanna taking the stage with U2's Bono and The Edge in London to a jam featuring Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and Keith Urban in Los Angeles.
Joel Gallen, who is producing the massive production, said the musical acts are at the heart of the benefit. "I just think music is a very strong way to help people begin the healing process," Gallen said. "And I think it's a way to reflect feelings, and a lot of these artists have a lot of deep-rooted feelings that we all share. This is a way for them to express themselves through song, many of which are songs that they didn't even write or that they never even recorded. It's a special performance of a song that they love, that really reflects the emotion of their feeling that hopefully will be an impactful performance that will entice people, motivate people to want to help and contribute."
In addition to airing on MTV and various other networks, an album of the performances and video of the telecast will also be available for purchase in the days following the event via the iTunes Music Store. Songs can be purchased individually, as well, from iTunes, and audio will be made available on Amazon and Rhapsody.
Clooney thinks the opportunity to purchase the music afterward will help to extend the shelf life of the relief efforts beyond the one-night broadcast.
"We're gonna have 18 songs, and you're gonna get to hear Jennifer Hudson sing a song you never heard her sing before," he said. "John Legend is singing 'Motherless Child'; it's just great. We're gonna have some amazing performances, and I think that's gonna make it last a little longer than just a telethon."
Learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, and for more information, see Think MTV. Join George Clooney and Wyclef Jean for MTV's "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon, airing commercial-free Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET and visit HopeForHaitiNow.org or call (877) 99-HAITI to make a donation now.