NEW YORK, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Native New Yorker Christina Aguilera opened Friday night's telethon by assuring victims of Hurricane Sandy they aren't alone and won't be forgotten.
"I was born in Staten Island. Four days ago, Hurricane Sandy came through and devastated it, as it did most of the eastern seaboard," the singer told viewers of the NBC broadcast. "We come together tonight to tell every single person who is suffering, we are here for you. We will do whatever we can to help. We will not leave anyone behind because every single one of you matters."
She then dedicated her song "Beautiful" to those affected by the superstorm that ravaged the East Coast of the United States this week.
Matt Lauer served as host of the hourlong program, throughout which were shown video footage and photos of the havoc Sandy wreaked.
"Tonight we're here to raise awareness and some badly needed money to help the people who have had their lives turned upside-down by Hurricane Sandy," said Lauer, co-anchor of NBC's "Today" show in New York. "There are millions in need."
The show featured performances by Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band -- all artists who have roots in New York or New Jersey. Aerosmith and Sting also offered musical entertainment.
One of the highlights of the program was Fallon singing lead vocals on "Under the Boardwalk," while Steven Tyler, Springsteen and Joel sang backup. Joel's solo rendition of his "[Miami 2017] Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway" was also particularly poignant as it mentions the annihilation of numerous New York City icons.
Money collected through the telethon will be donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy.
Although the amount of cash raised was not immediately known, the relief organization's website said it was temporarily overwhelmed by people seeking to make donations.
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