The “Hand in Hand” telethon raised more than $44 million for those affected by the atrocities of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.


A-list celebrities came together to donate and collect money for the cause. Stephen Colbert announced that Apple was donating $5 million, while Jimmy Fallon added that Albertsons Cos. and Merck gave $1 million each. Basketball star Chris Paul said the NBA Players Association donated $500,000, and that they would match any pro player’s donation up to $20,000.

“We come together today to love on people that have been devastated by the hurricanes,” said Stevie Wonder, who sang “Lean on Me.” “When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves.”

The telethon was broadcast on four networks, and featured celebrities, including Justin Timberlake and Drake, speaking of the importance of helping each other and advocating for unity. Politics came up many times, with celebs noting that news these days is “extremely overwhelming,” and Beyoncé saying that “it’s impossible to watch the news without seeing violence or racism in this country.”

“Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take take precious life, do massive damage, and forever change lives, leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools, and nursing homes and countless families are now homeless,” the singer continued. “Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from [Houston neighborhoods] Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together.”

Performers for the event included UsherBlake SheltonChris StapletonDarius RuckerMiranda LambertGeorge Strait, and many others being streamed from different cities. Other celebs were available to answer phones and take donations. “This is what we can give people with our donations tonight. We can’t bring back what they lost, but we can help them know where to take the next step and provide some solid footing for them to place their next foot. A path to stability. To a place where they can rebuild,” Matthew McConaughey told viewers. “This is what they need and this is what we can give them.” Justin BieberGeorge ClooneyJulianne MooreJulia Roberts, and Oprah Winfrey were among those on the phone lines.

“This is what America is really all about,” said Billy Crystal, closing out the show.

Watch the show as it was streamed live by MTV below.

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