Springsteen, Aguilera & More Lead 'Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together' Benefit Broadcast
Many of the East Coast's biggest stars came together to help bring relief after what's been called the storm of the century on Friday night.
Musicians and celebrities from Christina Aguilera to Jon Stewart joined the "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together" broadcast to benefit Red Cross efforts in the aftermath of Sandy, the superstorm that devastated New York, New Jersey and beyond earlier this week.
"I was born in Staten Island," Aguilera said to open the hour-long event. "We will not leave anyone behind. Every single one of you matters."
The singer delivered a powerful performance of "Beautiful," making her the first New York-bred star to appear in an evening full of New York and New Jersey natives.
Airing on NBC and other networks, the broadcast showcased footage from the storm's path of destruction -- "one of the biggest hurricanes on record," which left millions without power or worse. A reported 88 people died in the storm and its aftermath.
"The Jersey shore looked like armageddon," Matt Lauer, the show's host, said as its famous boardwalk, barely recognizable, was pictured. Bon Jovi performed a toned-downed acoustic version of "Living on a Prayer" after frontman Jon Bon Jovi was shown visiting the band's decimated hometown.
The broadcast turned to Ann Curry in Staten Island, where "half a million people suffered some of the greatest losses in all of New York." "You need to come here and help us, we need assistance, please!" a woman implored the cameras.
Stars who joined the benefit included Tina Fey, Whoopie Goldberg, Danny DeVito, Kevin Bacon and Jimmy Fallon, who took a musical turn himself. He sung lead with Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Tyler and others for an all-star performance of '60s hit "Under the Boardwalk."
"That ain't bad," Stewart joked after.
It was a big collaboration on a night focused on performers' own back catalogs. Billy Joel performed "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)," a 1976 song that gained new lyrics as he sang, "They turned our power down/Staten Island drowned/But we went right on with the show." Members of Aerosmith performed a drum-free version of "Dream On"; Sting took the stage solo with a classical guitar to perform the Police's "Message in a Bottle." Mary J. Blige chose a newer track, delivering a stirring take on "The Help" song "The Living Proof," singing, "Our best days are right in front of us/And we're almost there."
The hour ended with Springsteen and the E Street Band performing "Land of Hope and Dreams," taking the stage with the night's biggest ensemble.