You can watch all the music performances from last night’s telethon, Hope for Haiti Now, at MTV.com.
My personal favorites: Sting’s “Driven to Tears” featuring Chris Botti; Stevie Wonder’s “A Time to Love” combined with Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (a nice tribute to Stevie’s long time Grammy “rival” Simon), Bruce Springsteen’s “We Shall Overcome,” and’Alicia Keys‘ opening number.’ Wyclef Jean, just back from Haiti, provided just the right gravity with “Rivers of Babylon” and “Yele.”
Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Let it Be” was simply stunning. She told me later, “I’m just glad I didn’t forget the words!” It hardly the case. She looked gorgeous, and her voice soared. She is poised to be’a superstar of’the new decade.
Most of the numbers were spot on. There were some interesting choices,’however: ‘Madonna’s reedy’”Like a Prayer” with a huge gospel choir, and Justin Timberlake’s “Hallelujah,” which required accompaniment with someone named Matt Morris on vocals and keyboards. Talk about “live aid.”
Beyonce’s rendition of “Halo” with Chris Martin was a great showcase for her to prove she’s more than just hip hop. Shakira singing Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders hit, “I’ll Stand By You” was just weird enough to work. Chrissie must have been very amused.
And the big collaboration featuring Bono, The Edge, Rihanna, and Jay Z:on’inspired and catchy. And cool. It was brave of them to’debut it on live on international TV.
In the end, George Clooney did something rather remarkable. We announced the idea of this telethon on January 14th. Clooney had only Sting at that point. In eight days, he created a world. All kudos to him. Now let’s hope the money, food and supplies get to the Haitian people.