HERO WORSHIP

The likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young play while Hollywood stars man the phones during the two-hour telethon...

An estimated 89 million people in the US watched some of the biggest names in music and film come together on Friday (September 21) to raise money for the victims of the terrorist attacks in NEW YORK and WASHINGTON.

Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Limp Bizkit‘s Fred Durst, Celine Dion, U2, Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Bon Jovi and Paul Simon were amongst those who performed while Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, John Cusack, Cindy Crawford, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood and Muhammad Ali were amongst those who either spoke between songs, or answered phones taking public donations during the two-hour telethon ‘America: A Tribute To Heroes’.

The show was broadcast across 35 networks in the US and beamed to over 200 countries in the world, with both ITV and BBC1 in the UK carrying it live. During the first 15 minutes 300,000 calls were logged. Major organisations as well as individuals donated cash. Microsoft has pledged $10 million, while media company Vivendi have promised $5 million.

Performers avoided showcasing new material, focusing instead on tracks they felt fitted the occasion. Springsteen opened the show, dedicating his hymn-like ‘City In Ruins’ to all “our fallen brothers and sisters”. Later, Neil Young played a faithful version of ‘Imagine’ and Fred Durst and Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit covered Floyd Pink Floyd‘s ‘Wish You Were Here’.

Muhammad Ali, joined by Will Smith, made an impassioned plea for all Muslims not be branded as terrorists.

Willie Nelson closed the show, and was joined by Young, Tom Petty, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and all of the Hollywood stars.

It will not be known until later on Monday (September 24) just how much cash was raised.

The live special was broadcast from two studios in New York and Los Angeles, with U2 and Sting appearing in London. Producers refused to reveal the exact locations because of security fears.