Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bono Helps Nile Rodgers Raise $1 Mil for Charity, Performs U2 Songs Solo, Then Dives into Crowd and Disappears


nile and nancyFriday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom: Nile Rodgers and Nancy Hunt’s annual We Are Family Foundation dinner was in high gear with presentations to both former President Jimmy Carter and U2’s Bono.

Bono performed a bunch of U2 songs with Rodgers’ amazing Chic band including “In the Name of Love,” “Beautiful Day” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

Bono, honored for his humanitarianism, almost never sings without at least The Edge if not all of U2. It was a rarity, especially when the compact front man dove into the audience during his last number and sang himself out of the Manhattan Center. Talk about a great escape! His security guys came running from every direction as we he was literally swallowed by the crowd!

Turns out Bono has been long time fan of Rodgers and Chic, by the way. Nile told the crowd that whenever they play in Dublin or London, he looks over and sees the Hewson family (that’s Bono’s real name– Paul Hewson) dancing to “Le Freak.”

bono nile and student winnerBono was preceded in the awards by Carter, who really looks great up close (we shook hands!) considering he’s just survived brain cancer at age 90! Carter saluted WAFF’s late standard bearer, thirteen year old Matti Stepanek, and his incredibly courageous mom, Jeni Stepanek, who was also honored. (Jeni is now in a wheelchair with a ventilator, suffering from the same disease that killed her four children.) Carter said that he’d met kings and queens, the Pope, jimmy carterheads of state, and no one ever impressed him more than Mattie Stepanek. (Frankly, seeing a video of Mattie– who died of a rare muscular disease– I could see it.)

The evening ended with Nile and Chic rocking out a dance party for donors to Chic’s greatest hits. Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge fame, was the surprise vocalist on “We Are Family” and the place went wild. kathy sledge

Nancy Hunt and Nile Rodgers started WAFF right after September 11, 2001, motivated by the tragedies. They immediately recorded an all star version of Nile’s song “We Are Family” for charity and never looked back. They raised $1 million on Friday night including the sale of a Grammy artist signed guitar that went for $100,000.

WAFF has turned out to be one of the best “new” charities by expanding into TEDxTeen, encouraging young people around the world to become civic minded. On Friday we met the enterprising and articulate future leader Ellen Chilemba, of Malawi, now studying at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She’s raising money for her organization called Tiwale in Malawi. They’re building a women’s center and are trying to raise $20,000. They’ve got $5,000 so far. Hey, Oprah, Whoopi, Gayle King, Beyonce–take a look. Very impressive!


Photos c2016 Showbiz411

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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