Last night, Tina Fey hosted the Rise Up New York! COVID-19 benefit telethon to raise money for the Robin Hood Foundation, which has been fighting poverty in NYC for over 30 years. The hour-long benefit, which was streamed online and on TV, ended up raising over $115 million dollars to help people affected by coronavirus, a figure which made Fey (who hosted from 30 Rockefeller Center instead of at home) tear up toward the end of the broadcast in an unforgettable moment.

[embedded content]

Robin Hood always has an annual gala to raise money, but this is only the third time they’ve put together such a benefit—the other two times were the Concert for New York after 9/11 and the 12-12-12 concert after Hurricane Sandy. And they were able to get a lot of famous NYers to join in: Barbara Streisand, Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone talked about Broadway; chefs David Chang and Angie Mar talked about NY’s restaurant industry; RZA, Chris Rock, Fab 5 Freddy, Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock and Mike D, Rosie Perez, Salt-n-Pepa and Run-D.M.C.’s Darryl McDaniels offered tribute to NYC hip-hop and the Bronx; and there were appearances from the likes of Robert De Niro, Spike Lee and Jennifer Lopez.

There were also a handful of musical performances, including Billy Joel performing “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway),” which was broadcast on big screens all across the city and synced up to a light show at the Empire State Building. (If you missed it last night, you can watch the ESB light show every evening through Friday, May 15th, timed to begin at 9 p.m. EST, right as the song starts on New York’s Q104.3.) Joel was also, of course, introduced by his good pal Governor Andrew Cuomo.

[embedded content]

Mariah Carey performed a medley of “Through the Rain” and “Make It Happen,” Sting sang the Police classic “Message In A Bottle,” Alicia Keys performed, Staten Island’s P.S. 22 chorus sang Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” and Lin-Manuel Miranda gathered together Broadway stars including Cynthia Erivo, Ben Platt, Idina Menzel, and Andrew Rannells to sing “New York, New York.” 

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Bon Jovi, who performed at last month’s Jersey 4 Jersey benefit, also got together to perform a downbeat version of “It’s My Life.”

[embedded content]

Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore told Rolling Stone that he was overjoyed at the amount of people who agreed to participate in the event so last minute, which speaks to their NYC ties: “It’s either where they’re from, like Lin-Manuel Miranda, where they built their career, like Cynthia Erivo, or where they’ve devoted their lives to serving, like Andrew Cuomo,” Moore said. “You have people who feel like they owe New York — they owe New York for their hustle, for their swag, for their vision, and at a time when New York has really been the epicenter of this crisis. I think they look at this as a way to say thank you.”

You can watch the full broadcast here.

Source: gothamist.com/feed