UPDATE: As of 6:00 a.m. ET, the amount raised has surpassed $44 million.
The world of country was out in full force on Tuesday night as dozens of A-list actors and musicians joined together for Hand in Hand Tuesday night, a nationwide television event spanning 16 networks and multiple radio and internet platforms. The event already raised more than $14.5 million for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Blake Shelton hosted the portion of the show airing live from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. He was also joined in performance by R&B star Usher to duet on Ben E. King‘s classic “Stand by Me.”
Brad Paisley also was on hand in Nashville. He was joined by Darius Rucker, pop star Demi Lovato and gospel singer CeCe Winans for a rendition of The Beatles classic “A Little Help from My Friends.”
But the big country moment of the night came with the show’s closing number, airing from San Antonio. George Strait lead a group consisting of Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen through a rendition of his ode to his home state, “Texas,” a state that, of course, was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and his “I Believe.”
In introducing Strait, another Texan, Matthew McConnaughey, urged the victims of the damage, “Do not give up hope.”
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