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‘Hand in Hand’ Benefit Raises Over $44 Million for Hurricane Relief

It was broadcast across major networks and streamed on social media.

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On Tuesday night, celebrities gathered together for “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief.” The hour-long special raised over $44 million for the survivors and victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

According to NBC Newsthe celebrity guest list included George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hanks, Beyonce, Justin Bieber and more. The celebrities performed, spoke, or sat in front of phones holding signs that said “Call me!”

Many actors sang songs about coming together or overcoming obstacles. Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Dave Matthews performed his song “Mercy” and George Strait was joined by Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton for his song “I Believe,” reports NBC News. 

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Steve Buscemi, Bruce Willis, Al Pacino attend the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)

Stevie Wonder also emphasized the power of love before singing “Lean on Me,” by saying: “When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves,” reports ABC News. 

The celebrities also referenced the political climate of the world. Drake admitted that the news cycle recently has been “extremely overwhelming.” Beyonce, in a video message, touched on climate change and then said, “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 [Houston neighborhoods] Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together,” reports ABC News. 

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Billy Crystal, Kerry Washington and David Spade attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)

The stars also told harrowing stories of survival from the storms. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman told the story of a young girl who survived by clinging to her dead mother’s body. Irma was one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, ravaging several islands in the northern Caribbean, as well as destroying or damaging 90 percent of home in the Florida Keys. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana starting August 25, killing more than 60 people.

Stephen Colbert announced during the telethon that Apple was donating $5 million and Jimmy Fallon added that Albertsons Cos. and Merck each gave $1 million, reports ABC NewsChris Paul, an NBA star, announced the NBA Players Association would match any professional basketball player’s donation up to $20,000. The association also personally donated $500,000, reports ABC News. 

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Stevie Wonder performs during Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)

Over 2,000 call center volunteers were stationed around the country to help take calls during the benefit. Donations are still being accepted for several days after the broadcast. The donations, collected by Comic Relief USA, will be distributed to organizations helping in the relief efforts, including the Rebuild Texas Fund, Feeding Texas Habitat for Humanity, and more, reports ABC News

Check out some images from the night below.

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Kerry Washington, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks and Meghan Trainor attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Daniel Craig, Andy Cohen and Julianne Moore caption at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Matthew McConaughey speaks onstage during George Strait’s Hand in Hand Texas benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre on September 12, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. (Rick Diamond/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Joe Jonas (L) and Justin Bieber attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Stephen Colbert attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly perform during Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Rita Wilson, Oprah Winfrey and Sofia Vergara attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Miranda Lambert performs onstage during George Strait’s Hand in Hand Texas benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre on September 12, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images for George Strait)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Julia Roberts and George Clooney attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at Universal Studios AMC on September 12, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Usher and Blake Shelton perform onstage during Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 12, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
P. K. Subban and Angie Harmon attend Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 12, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Darius Rucker, Demi Lovato, Brad Paisley, and CeCe Winans perform onstage during Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 12, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Malin Akerman, Uzo Aduba, Tracy Morgan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steve Buscemi, Bruce Willis, Al Pacino attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Jamie Foxx, and Andy Cohen caption at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Lupita Nyong’o and Daniel Craig caption at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Julianne Moore, Karlie Kloss, Nicki Minaj attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at ABC News’ Good Morning America Times Square Studio on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief
Luke Bryan attends Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 12, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images)
Read full story at NBC News