News: UPDATE: Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean & Rihanna's Hope For Haiti Telethon Raises Over $61 Mil

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 12:25PM

Written by Rosario Harper

New totals show the recent Hope For Haiti telethon generated more than $61 million in relief efforts.

According to reports, last week's event also brought in close to 85 million viewers.

"Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" drew a cumulative audience of more than 83 million viewers and a gross average audience of more than 24 million viewers in the United States, according to Nielsen Media Research. The telethon has now raised more than $61 million in donations from the general public to date. Across the Web and mobile, "Hope for Haiti Now" attracted 1.9 million video streams during the live broadcast. Between the live broadcast and replays of the performances available on MTV.com and other sites, "Hope for Haiti Now" attracted 5.8 million total streams throughout the weekend. (MTV)

Initial estimates showed the event raising around $57 million.

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)

Prior to being denied, 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)

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

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