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Star-studded telethon raises £93m for New Yorkers impacted by coronavirus

Tina Fey hosted the event at which A-list celebrities including Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez asked for donations.


Tina Fey (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Tina Fey (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Tina Fey (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Tina Fey shed tears after announcing that more than 115 million dollars (£93 million) was raised towards supporting New Yorkers impacted by Covid-19 during a virtual telethon.

Thank you, thank you,” said a tearful Fey, the host of the Rise Up New York! event.

The Emmy-winning actress, along with other A-list celebrities including Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez, asked for donations to help relief and recovery efforts.

“Our city is under attack, but we’ve been here before,” Robert De Niro said.

“In the last 20 years, both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. You can take your best shot but you cannot break our spirit.”

The one-hour benefit was presented by the New York-based poverty fighting organisation Robin Hood and iHeartMedia.

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Robin Hood said all the donations will provide support for food, shelter, cash assistance, mental health, legal services and education.

“If you had breakfast today, you are better off than two million of your neighbours who woke up hungry,” Fey said.

Mariah Carey performed her 1992 song Make It Happen.

She sang while her backup singers and pianist performed on separate screens to the upbeat tune.

“We can make it through this together,” Carey said.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cynthia Erivo, Idina Menzel, Ben Platt and others performed a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s classic song New York, New York.

Lopez introduced PS22 Chorus, a collection of New York elementary school students who sang Andra Day’s Rise Up.

“New York, I know your strength,” said Lopez, a New York native.

Spike Lee shared encouraging words that sport would return someday soon.

Streisand and Audra McDonald showed the same optimism about New York City’s Theatre District coming back “stronger than ever” after being closed due to the pandemic lockdown.

Greats from American football team New York Giants including Michael Strahan, Eli Manning, Phil Simms and Justin Tuck announced an opportunity through a sweepstake for one fan to play a game of touch football with the players in their own garden and get a Super Bowl ring.

The winner of the sweepstake and three friends will have a chance to play against the players.

Other musical performances included Sting’s Message In A Bottle and Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life.

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