LOS ANGELES, California, January 22, 2010 (ENS) – To raise money for the relief of Haitian earthquake survivors, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief is being broadcast worldwide tonight.

A catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12. Much of the city has been reduced to rubble, at least 65,000 people have died and many thousands more are injured. Three million people have been affected in some way and at least 300,000 are homeless and living in makeshift tent cities. All are in urgent need of water, food and medical care.

The Hope for Haiti telethon features performances by Haitian-born artist Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in London.

A new song, “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” will be performed live tonight from London by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and Edge as part of the ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ telethon. Rihanna said, “The lyrics are really important, J-Z gets really deep in his lyrics.”

Speaking to the people of Haiti, Rihanna said, “We’re going to do everything that we can to help you, you are not alone.”

The global benefit show is produced by George Clooney, Wyclef Jean and MTV Networks. 100 percent of all funds raised will go towards relief efforts in Haiti and there are no backend costs. The Entertainment Industry Foundation has waived all administrative fees.

The list of participating stars goes on and on: Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Stevie Wonder are among the many participants joining George Clooney (in Los Angeles), Wyclef Jean (in New York) and CNN’s Anderson Cooper (reporting from Haiti) for the event.

“You got about 130 to 140 actors, athletes, singers and television hosts, and they’re all coming up not to be on TV, but simply to answer the phones,” Clooney told MTV News on Thursday.

The telethon’s main goal is to “raise money, period. That’s it,” said Clooney. “Just first and foremost that we can raise a lot of money. If I thought that we could all pick up shovels and go in there and not be in the way, I think a lot of people would do that.”

Clooney has given $1 million to relief for victims as have Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Model Gisele Bundchen donated $1.5 million to the cause, and Madonna, is performing in New York for the telethon, said she has donated $250,000.

Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $1 million to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to support near-term assistance and long-term recovery efforts. DiCaprio’s donation, disbursed through the Leonardo DiCaprio Fund, which fosters awareness of environmental issues, will help with immediate relief efforts as well as with longer-term redevelopment with a focus towards sustainable development.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme have joined the list of relief organizations that will benefit from Hope for Haiti Now, which also includes Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Yele Haiti Foundation. Proceeds from ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ will be split evenly among each organization’s individual funds for Haiti earthquake relief.

“I am grateful for the generous gift Leonardo DiCaprio and his Foundation have made in support of our Clinton Bush Haiti Fund,” President Bill Clinton said. “Combined with the outpouring of donations from Americans and citizens around the world of all means, this support will go a long way to help save more lives, reach more people with emergency assistance, and help the Haitian people build their nation back stronger and more secure than it was before the earthquake.”

“I salute Leonardo DiCaprio for his extraordinary generosity,” former President George W. Bush said in a statement. “This donation sends a clear message to the people of Haiti that America’s commitment to helping rebuild their country is strong. I thank Leo for setting a wonderful example for all Americans of helping a neighbor in need.”

You can watch it live on MTV and also on YouTube along with other sites and channels listed below. More than 640 million homes around the world are receiving the broadcast today, organizers said.

The two-hour telethon is airing on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT tonight 8:00 pm ET/PT and 7:00 pm CT.

‘Hope for Haiti Now’ will also air on PBS, TNT, Showtime, COMEDY CENTRAL, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, and Canadian networks including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television, and MuchMusic.

The event is being streamed live online across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV.

‘Hope for Haiti Now’ will also air internationally on BET International, CNN International, National Geographic, and MTV Networks International. ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ will be the first U.S.-based telethon airing on MTV in China.

Facebook and Twitter have signed on as official social media partners to help drive donations and tune-in to the telethon.

All musical performances will be available through Apple’s iTunes Store beginning Saturday, January 23, with all proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds managed by Hope for Haiti Now charities.

To donate:

  • Online: www.hopeforhaitinow.org
  • Phone: 877-99-HAITI
  • Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555
  • Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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