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‘Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief’ Sees Stars Call for Unity: ‘Natural Disasters Don’t Discriminate’

Variety logo Variety 9/13/2017 Joe Otterson

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(Video by Billboard)

The “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” telethon brought together stars from all forms of media to raise money for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The star-studded phone bank for the event included: Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Barbara Streisand, Jay Leno, Craig Robinson, Miles Teller, Jared Leto, Jeremy Renner, Josh Gad, Cher, Justin Bieber, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Sofia Vergara, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Bryan Cranston, Tyler Perry, and many more raising money for the homes and lives destroyed in places like Houston, Texas, and the Florida Keys.

In addition, many stars provided video messages of love and support for the victims of both storms. Iconic singer Beyoncé, a native of Houston herself, said in her message, “Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Jewish or Muslim, rich or poor…We’re all in this together.”

© Provided by Variety Action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also sent in a video message in which he shared his family’s own experience of surviving Hurricane Andrew when he was just a child. “There are no strangers in the aftermath of a hurricane,” Johnson said. “No political parties, no agendas…It’s all about survival and coming together as one because that’s all that matters.”

The special event was also filled with musical performances, including Stevie Wonder opening the show with a performance of “Lean on Me.” Later on, Usher and Blake Shelton, performing live in Nashville, played a rendition of “Stand By Me,” while Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi sang “Hallelujah,” to name just a few of the moving performances.

As the night closed, Crystal thanked the audience for tuning in and announced that the telethon had raised over $14.5 million in just an hour, as well as saying that phone lines will be open all night for those wishing to donate.

The telethon was originally put together to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey, but was expanded to include those affected by Hurricane Irma as well. Proceeds from the event will be distributed to a range of charities aiding recovery efforts. The organizations include the United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Texas and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief. “Hand in Hand” was the brainchild of music manager and producer Scooter Braun’s SB Projects. Braun and Allison Kaye serve as executive producers along with Den of Thieves’ Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager and Houston-based rapper Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman.

For more information, updates and to donate, head over to HandInHand2017.com.

Related slideshow: Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief (Provided by Photo Services)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  In this handout photo provided by Hand in Hand, Leonardo DiCaprio attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at ABC News' Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images) Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief

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