The telethon raised $44 million and included appearances and performances from Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Cher, Usher, and Blake Shelton, with celebs like Justin Bieber, Sofia Vergara, and George Clooney working the phones.
The telethon also included a very special message from Houston native Beyoncé, who took the opportunity to address climate change as well as the political conversations happening around the hurricane:
During the time where it’s impossible to watch the violence or racism in this country, just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives — leaving behind contaminated waters, flooded hospitals, schools and nursing homes. And countless families are now homeless.
In my hometown city of Houston, people need food, clothing and cleaning supplies, blankets, shoes, diapers and formula for babies and of course, clean water. The elderly need wheelchairs and kids need books and toys so they can continue to dream.
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 Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together. Seeing everyone of different racial, social and religious backgrounds put their own lives at risk to help each other survive, restored my faith in humanity.
The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day. Just this past week, we’ve seen devastation from the monsoon in India, an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico and multiple catastrophic hurricanes. Irma, alone, has left a trail of death and destruction from the Caribbean to Florida to the Southern United States. We have to be prepared for what comes next. So tonight we come together in a collective effort to raise our voices, to help our communities, to lift our spirits and heal.
Stevie Wonder was a bit more pointed with the climate change angle when he said, “Anyone who believes there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent.” Still, thanks Beyoncé!