Over the last few weeks, the United States has seen some of the most tragic and historic natural disasters to date. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ushered in unprecedented flooding and unbelievable wind gusts leaving thousands in Texas, Florida and many places throughout the Caribbean displaced.
The biggest names in music, sports and entertainment united during Hand in Hand: A Benefit For Hurricane Relief, a telethon to provide assistance to those impacted by the natural disasters. Over $44 million was raised during the live program. Celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Kelly Rowland and a slew of others shared heroic efforts, uplifting messages and various ways get involved in relief efforts. Performers like Usher, Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly hit the stage with inspirational songs. See some of the celebs below:
Stevie Wonder opened the telethon with a soulful rendition of Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me.” Before kicking off the show, Wonder highlighted the importance of environmental responsibility saying, “As we begin to love and value our planet… anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all.” Well said, Stevie.
Oprah and Cher joined forces, encouraging viewers to donate. They told a story of people who formed a human chain to rescue a man who was trapped in the flood.
Pop crooner Justin Bieber introduced a prayer while locking arms with three leaders of varying religious backgrounds.
Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi performed a bilingual rendition of the classic song, “Hallelujah.”
Beyoncé revealed how the unity displayed by victims of the natural disasters restored her faith in humanity.
Pop sensation Selena Gomez was brought to tears as she recounted the story of Houston’s Saldivar family, whose van was submerged in floodwaters as they tried to flee. Six members of the Saldivar family unfortunately perished while one man survived.
NBA star Chris Paul announced that the NBA Player’s Association, which donated $500,000, would be willing to match any NBA player’s donation up to $20,000.
It was an emotional and inspiring night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the hurricanes.
For more info on Hand in Hand: A Benefit For Hurricane Relief, watch the BET Breaks video, above.
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)