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- Posted on Jan 23rd 2010 4:00PM by Liz Colville
The telethon, broadcast at 8 PM from New York, London, L.A. and Haiti, raised money for five charities participating in the Haiti earthquake relief effort -- Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation -- and appeared on a number of TV networks. The event also featured performances by a slew of pop stars including Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Coldplay were the second performers of the night, with all four members playing from the guitar family for a moving rendition of 'A Message' from their 2006 album 'X&Y.' Chris Martin shared vocals with drummer Will Champion, who played a percussive acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Bruce Springsteen followed soon after, choosing to play a quiet but powerful 'We Shall Overcome' on acoustic guitar, with the refrain "We'll walk hand in hand some day" echoed by a backing choir, accordion and trumpet.
Stevie Wonder sang an emotional version of his song 'A Time to Love,' followed by a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's classic 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' with gospel choir accompaniment.
Sting also performed for the event, choosing the political Police song 'Driven To Tears' from their 1980 album 'Zenyatta Mondatta.' Bono and the Edge performed with Jay-Z and Rihanna for a dramatic, Edged-up version of Swizz Beatz's 'Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour).'
The eminent Haitian singer Emeline Michel, with her strong, almost operatic voice, performed 'Many Rivers To Cross,' written by the Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff. She was followed by a duet of Hank Williams' 'Alone And Forsaken' performed by Dave Matthews and Neil Young. Wyclef Jean was the closing act of the evening, choosing the reggae classic 'Rivers Of Babylon.'
The two-hour telethon is believed to have raised around $57 million, according to organizers, with money still coming in. The event certainly echoes the scope of efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 1985's Live Aid telethon, which raised millions for Africa.
It is estimated that the earthquake, which hit Haiti on Jan. 12, took the lives of as many as 200,000 people and left countless others homeless and separated from their loved ones.
An album of the telethon performances is available on iTunes, allowing people to keep giving to the cause. You can also simply donate to Hope for Haiti Now by visiting the website.