Sandy benefit concert raises $23 million in pledges

Christina Aguilera participates in NBCUniversal's "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together Relief Benefit" on Nov. 2, 2012 in New York. Getty

NBC says its benefit concert for superstorm Sandy victims drew nearly $23 million in donations to the American Red Cross.

Friday's hour-long telethon included performances by artists native to the areas hardest-hit by Sandy, including New Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel of New York's Long Island. Others who took part in the special included Sting, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey and Jon Stewart.

Complete coverage of superstorm Sandy

The telethon's mood was somber but hopeful, from Aguilera's "Beautiful" to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."

Pledges made by phone and online totaled $22.9 million, NBCUniversal and the American Red Cross said.

Sandy's assault last week killed more than 100 people in 10 states and created widespread damage and power outages.

The NBC telethon is just one of many fundraising efforts for the storm. Kirstie Alley, Drew Carey, Gary Sinise and Wayne Brady are among the stars who have been recruited by "Entertainment Tonight" to make public service announcements encouraging TV viewers to donate to the American Red Cross. One of the first of these appeared Thursday night on "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS.

Last week, Alec Baldwin visited New York University students affected by the storm, and Ben Stiller was spotted serving food at a shelter in Brooklyn. And Phish frontman Trey Anastasio joined volunteers in Brooklyn by handing out emergency supplies on Sunday, reports Gothamist.

CBS made a $1 million donation to the Red Cross and is matching employee contributions. Earlier this week, Disney, the parent company of ABC, announced a $2 million Red Cross donation and media giant Viacom said it was donating $1 million. News Corp, parent of the Fox network, also donated $1million.

ABC also is devoting part of its Monday programming to encourage donations to storm relief efforts.

You can donate to the Red Cross by clicking on this link or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

  • CBS News Staff

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