Hollywood telethon raises 56mln U.S. dollars for Haiti

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A Hollywood television fundraiser that was initiated by Hollywood top star George Clooney has gathered more than 57 million U.S. dollars and drew at least 16.1 million viewers from 18 countries, sponsors said Saturday.

Singer Beyonce poses during the 'Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief' telethon in London January 22, 2010.

Singer Beyonce poses during the "Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief" telethon in London January 22, 2010.

"The public has set a new standard of giving for a relief telethon with 'Hope for Haiti Now,' and the donations continue to come in," Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a non-profit organization providing support for "Hope for Haiti Now", was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter.

"People can still contribute 24/7 via phone, web and text," she added.

The two-hour telethon, dubbed "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief," drew former U.S. President Bill Clinton, top Hollywood musicians, actors and sports celebrities like former boxing king Muhammed Ali.

It was held in Los Angeles, New York, London and Haiti and was broadcasted globally. Proceeds will benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, Haitian musician Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation and the new Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation.

Performances from the telethon will be available for purchase on iTunes for 99 cents each. A full performance album will be available for 7.99 dollars and the two-hour telecast will be sold for 1.99 dollars.

The telethon drew a collective 16.1 million viewers across six broadcast networks including ABC, NBC and CBS (and a 4.3 total rating among adults 18-49). ABC drew the largest broadcast audience of 4.6 million viewers (and a 1.2 rating). These early numbers do not include cable outlets such as MTV, CNN and VH.

Also, the single "Hope for Haiti Now" is currently the top-selling iTunes album in 18 countries, the biggest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history.

The 57 million dollars does not include donations by corporations, large private donors and iTunes sales figures, all of which are still being calculated, it is reported.

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