Selena Gomez Tears Up Talking About Hurricane Harvey As Celebs Step Up For 'Hand in Hand' Telethon
By Liz Calvario
Hollywood came out in full force for Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey.
The star-studded one-hour telethon, which took place on Tuesday, helped raised money for those affected by the tragic Texas storm and featured stars like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Justin Bieber and Jared Leto taking calls for donations.
Texas native Selena Gomez teared up while talking about the Saldivar family, who tragically lost four children and two great-grandparents after their van was swept by the bayou currents. Sammy Saldivar, who was driving the van, made it out alive.
"Their story affected all who heard it and no matter who we are, the differences we have, suddenly did not seem to matter," Gomez tearfully said in a clip aired during the telethon. "Since that day, we have joined together. Neighbor helping neighbor, without stopping to think about race, religion and anything else."
"If we are going to get through all the storms that confront us, that's how we're going to do it together, hand in hand," she added.
Beyonce, who hails from Houston, also shared some words of support in another pre-recorded clip.
"Natural disasters don't discriminate. They don’t see if you're an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor," the mom of three said in a video. "We're all in this together."
Matthew McConaughey, who is a Texas native as well, made an appearance live from San Antonio, urging viewers to donate anything they can.
"We can't give back what they lost, but we can help them know where to take the next step," the Dallas Buyers Club star said. "We cannot get tired doing good work… I say to those people in need, do not give up hope!"
Other notable moments included Cher tightly holding on to Oprah Winfrey while encouraging people to donate, Big Little Lies co-stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman stepping out together, and husband-and-wife team Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson sharing a heart-wrenching story of a family affected by the storm.
And Justin Bieber rocked a bedazzled blue bandana and clear glasses as he introduced a prayer "to all who are in need, no matter in their background, in a time of great division in our nation."
"I’m super grateful to be part of this cause," the Canadian singer said. "We don’t want you guys to just watch, we want you guys to be a part of this and donate, whatever you can. It doesn’t have to be much -- just whatever you can possibly give."
Hand in Hand also included some great performances. Stevie Wonder kicked off the telethon with a cover of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" before singing his own song.
"We’ve come together today to love on the people that have been devastated by the hurricanes," Wonder expressed. "When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves."
Usher and Blake Shelton sang Ben E King's "Stand by Me" from a stage in Nashville, while Demi Lovato, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and CeCe Winans performed a rendition of The Beatles classic, "With a Little Help From My Friends." Plus, Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi performed a heartwarming bilingual rendition of "Hallelujah," while Dave Matthews sang "Mercy, Overcome" solo from New York City.
Miranda Lambert Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Miranda Lambert and George Strait teamed up for Straight's track, "Texas," to round out the telethon.