LOS ANGELES (AP) – Organizers of a national benefit for tsunami victims on Sunday awaited the final fund-raising tally from the two-hour televised concert that featured a constellation of movie and music stars.

NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Sunday that the network would need two days to complete a tally of money collected during the program, which aired on NBC Universal-owned stations. All donations went to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

During the telethon, actors told stories about the tsunami, and NBC showed pictures of the effects of the devastating waves and the agony of children left behind.

“We have a choice,” actor Clint Eastwood said. “We can either look away or we can help.”

Women had their choice of heartthrobs answering phones and taking pledges in the NBC Universal studios in Los Angeles: Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Tom Selleck and James Caan.

The concert was reminiscent of a similar benefit that ran on more than 30 television networks less than two weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. That benefit raised nearly $130 million for that cause.

In an echo of that concert three years ago, Madonna sang John Lennon’s “Imagine,” dressed in a black dress. Singer Neil Young performed the same song at the 2001 benefit.

Gloria Estefan sang “There’s Always Tomorrow,” former Beach Boy Brian Wilson sang “Love and Mercy” and Lenny Kravitz sang “Let Love Rule.” In pre-taped performances from London, Elton John sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters sang “Wish You Were Here,” accompanied by Eric Clapton.

Besides NBC, the program was carried on CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, Pax TV, Trio and the Sci-Fi Channel.

The benefit was not without a glitch: Singer John Mayer uttered an expletive that got on the air even though NBC was using a five-second delay.

While he was singing “Bold as Love,” Mayer swore while backing away from the microphone during a guitar solo. The audio briefly cut out about a second or two after he had said it.

NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said NBC’s standards people had been too slow on the button to remove it. The network is only two weeks removed from a New Year’s Eve telecast where Motley Crue’s Vince Neil swore while wishing bandmate Tommy Lee a happy New Year, instigating a Federal Communications Commission investigation.



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