Tina Fey shed tears after announcing that more than $115 million (Dh422.33 million) was raised toward 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 Monday evening. The Emmy-winning actress along with other A-list celebrities from Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Strahan 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.
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 2 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’.
Spike Lee shared encouraging words that sports 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.
Other musical performances included Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s My Life’.