CNN’s celebrity-filled fund-raiser for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill brought in close to $2 million Monday night.
The two-hour “Larry King Live” broadcast raised $1.81 million for the United Way, the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy, all of which will go to aiding families impacted by the still-gushing BP well off the Louisiana coast and to cleanup efforts.
The show consisted of a series of reports from the Gulf Coast, with Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien and others introducing viewers to some of the people who have been affected by the spill. Dozens of celebrities, ranging from Ted Danson to Justin Bieber, manned phone banks and made appeals for donations. A satellite feed showed Sting dedicating a performance of “Fragile” to residents of the region, and the show closed with Herbie Hancock and India.Arie performing “Imagine.”
King also did in-studio interviews with the likes of Philippe Cousteau and “Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder, a Louisiana native who’s been active in relief efforts.
At the end of the broadcast at 10 p.m. ET Monday (June 22), King announced that the telethon had raised a little over $1.3 million. Phones stayed open for several hours after that to continue collecting donations.