After Hurricane Sandy rocked the east coast last week, many celebrities were struck with the urge to do their part to assist in the cleanup. Some sent out Twitter appeals for aid, while other turned to that old Hollywood standby, the charity telethon. On Friday night, NBC’s Red Cross benefit “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” brought in some of the biggest stars in Hollywood to raise money for those in need.
As befitted the occasion, the mood at the telethon was austere, restrained—the stars mostly performed their “serious” songs. When you bring Christina Aguilera to an event like this, you pretty much know she’s going to sing “Beautiful”:
The Jersey Shore area, heavily affected by the storm, was a particular focus. Local sons Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi gave shout-outs to their hometowns, the latter playing a stripped-down medley of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”:
The Bronx’s own Mary J. Blige represented the five boroughs, singing a heartfelt version of “The Living Proof” that turned unintentionally literal at points:
The rousing, inspirational Bruce Springsteen performance is almost a telethon cliche at this point, but it doesn’t seem right to criticize the guy for showing up to so many charity fundraisers. Besides, you can’t deny the raw emotional uplift of the telethon closer: