Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

'Hope for Haiti' raises $58 million and counting

  • Amount is record for donations to disaster relief telethon
  • Album of performances topped charts in 18 countries
  • Public may continue to donate for six months
  • Celebrities answered phones, performed music

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Friday night's star-studded "Hope for Haiti" telethon has raised a record-breaking $58 million, with more donations continuing to pour in from around the world, the benefit's organizers announced Saturday.

The preliminary figure is a record for donations made by the public through a disaster relief telethon, according to a news release from telethon organizers.

Additionally, the "Hope for Haiti Now" album, a compilation of the night's musical performances made available on Apple's iTunes, was the No. 1 album in 18 countries Saturday. Sales figures for iTunes are still being calculated, and the preliminary figure of $58 million does not include donations from corporations or large private donors.

People will be able to make donations to "Hope for Haiti" via phone, Web, text messaging and regular mail for the next six months, according to the news release.

A moving performance by Alicia Keys opened Friday night's telethon, and actor George Clooney, serving as the Los Angeles host for the event, made the first appeal for donations to raise money for relief efforts after last week's devastating earthquake.

Video: 'Hope For Haiti Now'
Video: 'Hope for Haiti' Coldplay
Video: 'Hope for Haiti' Beyonce
Video: Clooney talks of telethon

"The Haitian people need our help," Clooney said. "They need to know they are not alone. They need to know that we still care."

The show was one of the most widely distributed prime-time televised benefits in history, appearing simultaneously on more than 25 networks -- including CNN, where Anderson Cooper reported live from Haiti during the event.

More than 100 actors, musicians and other celebrities answered phones in New York and Los Angeles after professional operators first talked to donors.

"Thank you so much for your donation," actress Reese Witherspoon told one caller. "You can't imagine how much love and great, wonderful energy is here today. People are doing everything they can to make a difference in these people's lives."

Several other calls were aired live, including with Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Taylor Swift and Stevie Wonder.

Swift and Wonder were among the evening's musical performers. Others included Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Shakira, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Jennifer Hudson, Madonna, Dave Matthews and Neil Young.

Other celebrities appearing on the telethon included Jon Stewart, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Ben Stiller, Clint Eastwood and Denzel Washington.

Proceeds from the telethon will benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the U.N. World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation and the Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation.

CNN's Alan Duke contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Haitians cope with wretched memories
They filled the grounds in front of the collapsed cathedral in Haiti's capital Wednesday. To remember. To cope. To pray.
Why U.S. aid workers refuse to give up
Can-Do founder Eric Klein spent most of 2010 in Haiti helping people recover from the devastating earthquake.
Haiti adoption; a new chance
What kind of parents would put their children in an orphanage?
Review of vote completed
A much-awaited review of Haiti's disputed presidential election has been completed but not yet been handed over to the president.
20,000 new jobs promised
Haiti's economy is getting a boost thanks to a venture with one of Korea's largest companies that promises to bring in 20,000 jobs.
Baby reunited with doctor
Nadine Devilme has thanked God countless times for saving her baby and has wanted to thank the doctor who treated the child after the earthquake.
To recover, Haiti needs leaders
What Haiti needs now is leadership from its sovereign government.
Bitter, displaced, Haitians wait in limbo
Amy Wilentz says a year after the earthquake, much of the funding to rebuild is stalled as aid organizations wait for the election crisis to be resolved.