STARS PAY TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN,
PRAISE THE COURAGEOUS AND RAISE SPIRITS & FUNDS ON "AMERICA: A TRIBUTE TO HEROES"
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 21, 2001 - Tonight, in breathtaking show of support, actors, musicians, artists and athletes joined together for "America: A Tribute to Heroes," an emotional, uplifting and unprecedented fundraising effort to benefit the survivors and the families of those victimized by the terrorist attacks on America.
Bruce Springsteen opened the live two-hour, commercial-free, simulcast program with "My City In Ruins," a poignant acoustic ballad he wrote to honor the memory of those lost in the September 11 tragedy. Springsteen was followed by Tom Hanks, who offered a reminder to the families of the victims that they are supported by the larger American family. "We are not healers," Hanks said. "We are not protectors of this great nation. We are merely artists, entertainers, here to raise spirits and, we hope, a great deal of money."
Other highlights from the broadcast, which united participants on both American coasts as well as in the U.K., included a joint appearance by Will Smith and Muhammad Ali, who denounced the destructive acts of hatred and urged people to stand together; an appeal for kindness, love and unity from Julia Roberts; moving tributes to the courageous and the fallen by Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Robin Williams and Chris Rock - who reminded us all that "Heroes don't give up" - and Clint Eastwood, who asserted that "The terrorists who wanted 300 million victims will instead get 300 million heroes."
In addition to spoken words of remembrance and inspiration, musicians provided some of the evening's most memorable moments. Following Tom Petty's searing rendition of his defiant anthem "I Won't Back Down" were stirring musical performances from Mariah Carey, Wyclef Jean, Sting, U2, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Celine Dion, who delivered an inspired, choir-backed version of "God Bless America," and Willie Nelson, who closed the show with a heartfelt rendition of "America the Beautiful" accompanied by all of the celebrities from the Los Angeles portion of the telecast.
In addition to performers who appeared on camera, a number of celebrities volunteered their time to man a phone bank, taking caller donations from around the nation and Canada.
All funds raised from this extraordinary event will go to the September 11 Telethon Fund, administered by the United Way working with an oversight committee appointed to best determine the fund's allocation. If you would like to continue to participate in this historic fundraising effort, donations can be made at www.tributetoheroes.org or AOL keyword: Tribute, or via U.S. Mail at P.O. Box 203103, Houston, TX 77216-3103.
Those members of the entertainment industry who generously donated their time and talents to "America: A Tribute to Heroes" include (in alphabetical order): Muhammad Ali, Jon Bon Jovi, Amy Brenneman, Mariah Carey, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Celine Dion, Dixie Chicks, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Calista Flockhart, Dennis Franz, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Hanks, Faith Hill, Enrique Iglesias, Wyclef Jean, Billy Joel, Jane Kaczmarek, Alicia Keys, Limp Bizkit, Lucy Liu, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Conan O'Brien, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Petty, Julia Roberts, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Richie Sambora, Paul Simon, Will Smith, Jimmy Smits, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, U2, Eddie Vedder, Sela Ward, Robin Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young.
Among those celebrities who manned the phones and took caller donations during the live, two-hour telecast were: Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford, Penelope Cruz, John Cusack, Benicio Del Toro, Danny DeVito, Sally Field, Andy Garcia, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Goldie Hawn, Salma Hayek, Michael Keaton, Reba McEntire, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Rhea Perlman, Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, Meg Ryan, Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Mark Wahlberg, James Woods.
Over 35 network and cable outlets simultaneously broadcast "America: A Tribute to Heroes," including: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, A&E, BET, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Court TV, Discovery, E!, Fox Family, Fox Sports Net, FX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, HBO, Lifetime, MTV, Oxygen, PAX, PBS, Sci-Fi, SHOWTIME, Sundance Channel, Telemundo, TLC, TNN, TNT, The WB, Turner South, Univision, UPN, USA Network, VH1.
"America: A Tribute to Heroes" was simulcast on the Internet at www.tributetoheroes.org and at AOL Keyword: Tribute, as well as on more than 8,000 radio outlets around the country, including Westwood One, Clear Channel Communications and ABC Radio affiliates in major markets.
Internationally, "America: A Tribute to Heroes" has been distributed to broadcasters and cablecasters in more than 210 countries around the world. Further, AFN, the American Forces Network carried the program live on radio and television to American soldiers, sailors, airman and marines in over 175 countries around the world.
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