Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Aguilera leads storm aid telethon

Christina Aguilera, a native of the decimated New York City borough of Staten Island, opened NBC's telethon helping victims of Superstorm Sandy

Bruce Springsteen, Mary J Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Sting and others performed to benefit the American Red Cross and its disaster relief efforts.

Hosted by Matt Lauer, the event was heavy on stars identified with New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, which took the brunt of this week's deadly storm.

Tina Fey, Jon Stewart and Jimmy Fallon all appeared and Sopranos star James Gandolfini also participated.

The mood early on was sombre but hopeful, from Christina's Beautiful to Jon's Livin' On A Prayer.

Billy picked up the tempo with Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway) and Jimmy led an all-star performance of Under The Boardwalk that featured Billy, Bruce and Steven Tyler.

The Aerosmith frontman then sat behind a piano and gave his all on a strained but deeply emotional Dream On.

Sting was equally passionate during an acoustic, muscular version of the Police hit Message In A Bottle.

The show ended, as it only could, with Bruce and the E Street Band, tearing into Land Of Hope And Dreams.

"God bless New York," Bruce, New Jersey's beloved native son, said in conclusion. "God bless the Jersey shore."

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