Beyonce and Madonna have been added as performers to Friday’s multi-network “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, and Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and former President Bill Clinton are among the participants.
A statement released Thursday said Beyonce would perform from London, and Madonna from New York. Later in the day, R&B singer Rihanna announced she will perform a new song called "Stranded" with rapper Jay-Z and U2's The Edge and Bono.
Rihanna says she feels drawn to the cause because of Haiti's proximity to her home country of Barbados. She said Thursday during the taping of a Norwegian talk show that the Caribbean is like a family and the humanitarian disaster that struck Haiti following a Jan. 12 earthquake feels "like it happened to Barbados."
The list of musical performers already includes such heavyweights as Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and Keith Urban. It will be streamed live online on MSN.com.
“It’s a big world out there, and we all have a lot of responsibility to look out for people who can’t look out for themselves,” telethon organizer George Clooney said in an MTV interview that aired Thursday night. “So what we can do is first and foremost, raise money. Period. That’s it ...
“If I thought we could all pick up shovels and go in there and help without being in the way, I think a lot of people would do that.”
Haiti was devastated and thousands of its citizens killed when an earthquake hit the Caribbean nation last week.
Haitian native Wyclef Jean will anchor the show from New York, while Clooney will do so from Los Angeles. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will report from Haiti.
Jay-Z will perform from London, along with Bono, The Edge and Rihanna in a special joint performance. Coldplay is also to perform from London.
In New York, Springsteen will perform, along with Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Jean and Sting. In Los Angeles, Swift is to perform, and Urban, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow plan a collaboration. Also performing in Los Angeles is Timberlake, Dave Matthews, John Legend, and Stevie Wonder.
The two-hour telethon will be shown on all the major networks and a host of other channels.
People can begin donating even before the start of the 8 p.m. EST concert via phone and text. Viewers can also download musical performances from the show via iTunes for 99 cents. Those profits will also be donated to Haiti relief.
Also Thursday, DiCaprio announced he was donating $1 million to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, the relief effort led by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and one of the organizations benefiting from the telethon.