Stars Help American Idol Raise $15 Million For Charity
SIR Elton John, Slash, Jennifer Garner and Morgan Freeman teamed up for American Idol's all-star charity event on Wednesday night (21Apr10) - helping to raise $15 million (£9.4 million) during the U.S. TV fundraiser.
They were joined by other stars including Victoria Beckham, Queen Latifah, Jim Carrey, Common, Jonah Hill and Russell Brand for the Idol Gives Back special.
Garner shot a video, which was shown during the night, showing her charity trip to a rural area of Appalachian Kentucky where 45 per cent of children grow up in poverty.
Urging viewers to donate, she said, "Four-year-olds who grow up in poverty are 18 months behind (other children). It's not fair. These are pretty sweet kids. They deserve anything - anything - we can do to help them."
Meanwhile, Mary J. Blige delivered an all-star performance of Led Zeppelin classic Stairway to Heaven alongside Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, American Idol judge and bassist Randy Jackson, famed guitarist Steve Vai and Michael Jackson's former guitarist Orianthi. Sir Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, Jeff Beck and Joss Stone also performed.
And Annie Lennox, who was originally scheduled to appear live, was so moved by the plight she arranged a satellite performance after being stranded in London due to the heavy clouds of volcanic ash which grounded flights across Europe following an eruption in Iceland on Thursday (15Apr10).
Idol Gives Back bosses reported donations of more than $140 million (£87.5 million) in 2010 prior to the televised charity show.
The cash raised will go to help U.S. and international charities including the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children's U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation.