British stars join Haiti transatlantic telethon

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The Independent US

British stars pitched in today during a star-studded transatlantic telethon to raise money for devastated Haiti.

Coldplay's Chris Martin joined fellow rock and pop royalty Bono, Jay-Z and Beyonce in London for the broadcast, with dozens of other celebrities including Madonna and Justin Timberlake pleading for donations in the US.

Ex-Police frontman Sting sang in New York and comedian Russell Brand also helped man the phonelines in Los Angeles alongside Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Aniston, Mel Gibson and Jack Nicholson.

The celebrity phone bank appeared to be continuously busy with donation calls during the show, and it is hoped tens of millions of pounds will be raised for the aid effort.

RnB singer Alicia Keys kicked off the two-hour broadcast with a performance of her song Prelude To A Kiss.

Setting a sombre tone for the evening, she sang: "Can you send me an angel to guide me?"

George Clooney, who helped organise the two-hour telecast, told viewers: "The Haitian people need our help.

"They need to know that they are not alone. They need to know that we still care."

Then, after an impassioned plea from actress Halle Berry, rocker Bruce Springsteen dedicated a song for the impoverished Caribbean state - We Shall Overcome.

In London, Chris Martin backed Beyonce on piano as she revised her hit Halo with new lyrics: "Haiti we can see your halo, we pray you won't fade away."

Jay-Z, Rihanna and U2's Bono and The Edge also debuted a new song, Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour), as Jay-Z rapped: "When the sky falls, and the earth quakes, we can gon' this back together, we won't break."

Across the Atlantic in New York, Madonna provided one of the few upbeat moments with her choir-backed performance of Like A Prayer and Sting sang a spirited Driven To Tears.

The telethon - which was also broadcast from Haiti - was featured on all the major US networks and channels.

It was also streamed live on sites like YouTube and MySpace and Haitians were able to listen on Radio One Haiti.

The event ended with a call for Haiti's revival by native son, former Fugee Wyclef Jean.

With a Haitian flag wrapped around his neck, he shouted: "Enough of this moping man, let's rebuild Haiti, let's show 'em how we do it where we come from!"