It took only a phone call from George Clooney to get the “Hope for Haiti” telethon started.
Expected to be the most widely viewed telethon in history, Hope For Haiti Now will air tonight at 8PM ET on every broadcast television network, and most cable channels, with all proceeds going to relief efforts.
George Clooney will host from Los Angeles — where celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres will be answering phone calls — while the New York event will be anchored by the Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean. A UK leg came into being when musicians Rihanna, Jay-Z, Coldplay and Bono volunteered to play in the wee hours of the early morning.
Celebrities joining the lineup include Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Among the musical performers, will be Madonna, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Sting, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Kid Rock.
Performances will be available for purchase on Apple’s iTunes store within 24 hours. Apple, the record labels and the artists have pledged to donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds for the telethon charities, which include Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation.