Entertainment

Music’s Biggest Stars Turn Out For Sandy Relief; Millions Raised In Ticket Sales Alone

The Who perform during "12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief" December 12, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Who perform during “12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief” December 12, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The stars of the music world came out Wednesday night for the “12-12-12″ benefit show at Madison Square Garden to raise money for those suffering from Superstorm Sandy.

The sold-out show was televised live, streamed online, played on the radio and shown in theaters all over the world with up to 2 billion people experiencing the history-making event.

PHOTOS: Sandy Relief Concert At Madison Square Garden

Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, The Who, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi and many more set a serious tone Wednesday night, wearing mostly black and gray onstage as they encouraged people to call and donate money to those affected by the
devastating storm.

About 140 people were killed by Sandy, which damaged millions of homes and properties in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other areas.

Alicia Keys, who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, closed the night with her New York anthem “Empire State of Mind,” as doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers and others joined the piano-playing singer onstage. They ended the night chanting “U.S.A.”

Keys was one of two women who performed at “The Concert for Sandy Relief.” Diana Krall backed McCartney, who sang his solo songs, Beatles songs and played the role of Kurt Cobain with Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear during the nearly six-hour show.

Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off the night, performing songs like “My City of Ruins,” “Born to Run” with Bon Jovi and some of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl.”

“I pray that characteristic remains along the Jersey shore because that’s what makes it special,” the New Jersey-born rocker said.

E Street band guitarist Steven Van Zandt said backstage that musicians and entertainers always show up when tragedy hits.

“It’s more personal because literally the Jersey Shore is where we grew up — but we’d be here anyway,” he said. “You don’t see oil companies here, you don’t see insurance companies here, the Wall Street guys, with all due respect, they’re not waiting in line to help anybody, so we’re here.”

But the night wasn’t all serious: Comedy helped break up the weightiness of Sandy’s devastation, including jokes from Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert and Adam Sandler, who performed a hilarious parody of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Even Coldplay’s Chris Martin brought on the jokes.

“I know you really wanted One Direction,” Martin said of the popular British boy band. “But it’s way past their bedtime.”

Martin was joined onstage by Michael Stipe, as they sang R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” And there was another collaboration with Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder on “Comfortably Numb.”

Proceeds go to the Robin Hood Foundation — which reportedly raised about $35 million in ticket sales alone. The total amount raised in pledges hasn’t been announced yet.

“We will make sure that the money goes out right away to the most affected (places) in New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut,” David Saltzman, the organization’s executive director, said backstage. “The money that we raised from this concert will be distributed in the days, weeks and months, not years.”

You can still donate. Visit www.121212concert.org for more information.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)