Rockers Help Haiti All Weekend Long
We round up all the benefits, from Friday night's telethon to Sunday night's intimate Radiohead show in L.A.
In an effort unmatched since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, stars of the music scene turned all weekend long to raise funds for victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, where more than 150,000 have already died.
Friday night’s Hope for Haiti Now telethon proved to be the most effective television fundraiser of all-time, raking in upwards of $57 million for the island nation’s rebuilding and relief efforts. Coordinated by actor George Clooney, the event featured live music performed in London, New York, and Los Angeles, and a star-studded dais of phone-answering A-listers, from Julia Roberts to Jack Nicholson to Taylor Swift.
The night featured some remarkable, one-of-a-kind musical moments, most prominently a collaboration between Jay-Z, Rihanna, and U2’s Bono and the Edge called “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour).” Watch it here:
Other noteworthy performances included Beyonce’s reworked version of “Halo” featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin on piano, Jennifer Hudson doing the Beatles’ “Let It Be,” a revamped version of “A Message” by Coldplay, and Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris covering Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” That last song has been the most popular download from the benefit on iTunes. All 19 performances, video of the telethon itself, and a studio version of the Jay-Z/U2/Rihanna collaboration are available for purchase in the iTunes store, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Haiti.
To watch video of each Hope for Haiti Now performance, head over to MTV.com.
Sunday night in Los Angeles, Radiohead appeared for a special performance at the 900-capacity Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater.
Tickets were auctioned off via Ticketmaster, and sales totaled $572,000 for Haiti — a figure that frontman Thom Yorke acknowledged onstage with a hearty, astonished “Fuck me!”
The hit-heavy set included Radiohead anthems like “Karma Police,” “The Bends,” and “Everything In Its Right Place,” and also featured Yorke doing a solo take on “Lotus Flower,” one of the new solo songs he unveiled in L.A. back in October.
On Saturday night in Brooklyn, concert promoter Bowery Presents and music blog Brooklyn Vegan assembled a powerful lineup of indie faves at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, which raised over $20,000.
Bon Iver main man Justin Vernon and Annie Clark of St. Vincent stole the show with an onstage hookup that featured covers of Annie Lennox, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, and Tom Petty, among others — they dubbed their one-night-only band “Songer Singwriter.”
Spoon frontman Britt Daniel also stopped in for a three-song solo set, during which he covered John Lennon’s “Isolation.” Other special guests at the show included comedians Zach Galifianakis and Janeane Garofalo, and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden.
Also over the weekend, singer-songwriter James Taylor staged two shows in Great Barrington, Mass., which raised a total of $474,000 for Partners in Health, a charity that provides medical relief to impoverished countries, and has been working in Haiti for nearly two decades.
To make your donation for Haiti relief, visit hopeforhaitinow.org.