NATIONWIDE — It was a night where television paused, and the country came together.
The Hand in Hand telethon fundraiser featured celebrities from all across the country with the same goal: to help those in need.
In its one televised hour, the hurricane relief benefit raised $14.5 million. By the end of the night, the total more than $44 million. The star-studded event — with stages in NY, LA and Nashville — aired on more than a dozen networks — as well as online.
Celebrities answered calls at phone banks — the lines ringing all night long.
Performances came from Stevie Wonder, Usher and Blake Shelton, and the hour wrapped with a performance from the Majestic in San Antonio with George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett together singing "Texas."
The proceeds will benefit both hurricanes Harvey and Irma and will be going to several organizations including the United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
Some of the biggest monetary contributions came from Michael and Susan Dell, who matched the first $ 10 million of the night — They've now given a total of $41 million to the Rebuild Texas Fund.
Stephen Colbert announced that Apple was donating $5 million; Houston Rockets star Chris Paul said that the NBA Player's Association donated $500,000, and on top of that, would match any professional basketball player's donation up to $20,000.
JUST ANNOUNCED ‘Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas’ benefit
Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians are headlining “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas: A Benefit Concert for Hurricane Harvey Relief,” on September 22 at the Erwin Center on the heels of Hand in Hand.
Tickets to the four-hour concert, which runs from 7 to 11 p.m., go on sale today at 3 p.m. Wednesday, September 13, via RebuildTX.org for $30 to $199.