News: Jay-Z, Rihanna, Chris Rock & More Raise $57 Mil W/ Help For Haiti Telethon [Video]

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 8:00AM

Written by Rosario Harper

Celebrities Jay-Z, Rihanna, Chris Rock and more have raised over $57 million in relief funds from their Hope For Haiti Now telethon.

The event reportedly broke records in terms of disaster relief efforts.

The "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon, led by George Clooney and Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, has raised more than $57 million for relief to the earthquake-ravaged country, organizers said on Saturday. They called the $57 million a record for public donations in a disaster relief telethon, and said the figures were still "preliminary" as they exclude donations by corporations and large private donors and sales figures on website iTunes. Organizers said the "Hope for Haiti Now" album was the biggest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history and was currently No. 1 on iTunes' album chart in 18 countries. (ABC News)

The telethon also featured pop stars including Madonna and Shakira.

Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean - who set up the charity foundation Yele Haiti - Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J Blige and Shakira performed in New York. Madonna sang Like A Prayer with the backing of a choir, while Sting sang Driven To Tears. Rihanna, meanwhile, performed a cover version of Bob Marley's Redemption Song, which she has released to raise money for the people of Haiti. Jay-Z debuted a song, Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) with U2's Bono and The Edge. It featured Jay Z rapping about the earthquake while Bono and singer Rihanna's lyrics included "Not going to leave you stranded." (BBC)

Early controversy claimed rapper Kanye West was intentionally not invited to participate.

"After what he said on the Katrina telethon and the way he behaved at the MTV Video Music Awards, everyone agrees it's just best that he does not participate," a producing partner told me. "Kayne has to make everything about himself. He will do anything to steal the spotlight and, well, this night it's just not about him." (Pop Eater)

However, these reports were later denied by an MTV representative.

A rep for MTV tells UsMagazine.com: "That's absolutely not true. We DID reach out to Kanye." Access Hollywood reports that West didn't respond. (US Magazine)

Check out Jay-Z & Rihanna performing the "Stranded" Haiti tribute down below:

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