Nothing makes a star-studded charity concert more worthwhile than when people actually tune in to watch the electrifying performances — and then open up their wallets to donate money to the cause.
That was the case with Wednesday night's five-hour 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, which raised money to support those individuals and neighborhoods impacted by the October hurricane, particularly in New York and New Jersey. According to the organizers, the Robin Hood Foundation, more than $30 million was raised from ticket revenue, sponsorships and corporate donations.
With a lineup that included Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen and Beatle Paul McCartney, who lit up the stage in a surprise duet with the surviving members of Nirvana, even those not lucky enough to snag tickets could to the show at Madison Square Garden, got front-row seats to the televised event.
And five hours of programming meant fans were treated to both scheduled sets and surprises. West, Springsteen and McCartney shared the bill with Alicia Keys, the Who, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, and a team-up of Coldplay's Chris Martin with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Roger Waters and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. A slew of celebrity guest hosts were also on hand to introduce segments on affected neighborhoods: Kristen Stewart, Adam Sandler (who sang a joke-filled, Sandy-themed remake of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"), Diddy, Chris Rock, Katie Holmes, Jon Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal, Steve Buscemi and Chelsea Clinton.
A final total for donations made by phone and over the Internet is still to come, but a spokesperson said they hope to have a firm tally by next Monday. (Additional funds were also raised through merchandise sales, auctions of autographed items, CD and DVD sales and iTunes downloads.)
To donate to the victims of Sandy, you can still call 1-855-465-4357 or visit 121212concert.org.