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Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono to Perform on ‘Hope for Haiti’ Telethon

Jayz and RihannaUber producer Swizz Beatz stirred up a small frenzy on the Net this past weekend when he declared via Twitter that the public should look out for a collaboration between himself, Jay-Z and U2 frontman Bono to support the pressing Haiti relief effort. After a bit of suspense, MTV announced yesterday (Jan. 19) that Jay-Z, Bono, and U2 drummer The Edge would join a new roster of celebrities on their ‘Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief’ program, which will be the most widely distributed telethon in history. The two-hour program will broadcast live Friday, Jan. 22 at 8PM EST on every major television network and will be distributed internationally, as well as across several media platforms. Facebook and MySpace will be the official social media sponsors of the program, in an effort to direct users and donations to the telethon.

Jay-Z and Rihanna will join Bono and The Edge for a special performance in London, while Alicia Keys, John Legend, Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake will perform from Los Angeles. “Bono got a call from a producer, Swizz.” The Edge told Ireland’s 2FM. “He and Jay-Z wanted to do something for Haiti. So, Bono came up with the phrase on the phone, and last night we wrote a song – finished, recorded, and sent it back to them.”
Since the telethon was originally announced, the lineup has multiplied to include more than 100 celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Shakira, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson. The telethon will be hosted by Wyclef Jean broadcasting from Haiti, Anderson Cooper broadcasting from New York and George Clooney from Los Angeles.

Donations from the two-hour telethon will benefit Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation, UNICEF, Red Cross, Partners in Health, Oxfam America, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme. All profits will be split evenly among the organizations.

AOL, in addition to fellow online streaming Web sites YouTube and MTV.com, will also feed the telethon live. The two-hour special airs commercial free on Friday at 8PM, on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, HBO, MTV, VH1 and several other channels.

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