NEW YORK (AP) - NBC will hold a benefit concert Friday for victims of Hurricane Sandy featuring some artists native to the areas hardest hit.
Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, both famously from New Jersey, and Billy Joel, whose own Long Island was hard hit, are scheduled to appear at the concert, hosted by "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer.
Others taking part include Christina Aguilera, Sting, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Kevin Bacon, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey, James Gandolfini and Al Roker.
Bon Jovi was in London when the storm hit. He canceled his plans to be with his family and was returning to New Jersey on Thursday, according to his representative. In a statement, he urged people to donate to the victims of the storm and asked those affected to have hope, comparing the weather disaster to 9/11.
"Once again, the eyes of the world are upon us as we wake to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Once again we will have hurdles to clear and challenges we will have to face. When patience is lost ... when it seems helpless ... when you are in need and you feel as if you're alone ... know you are not alone," he wrote in a statement.
"We may not have electricity but we have power," he added.
ABC also announced a relief effort, designating Monday as a "Day of Giving" where shows like "Good Morning America," ''The View," ''World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" would be used as a vehicle to generate donations from viewers.
The NBC telecast will benefit the American Red Cross and will be shown on NBC and its cable stations including Bravo, CNBC, USA, MSNBC and E! Other networks were invited to join in, and HBO announced it will carry the event.
The concert will be simulcast on Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio on SiriusXM.
Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it would donate $2 million to the American Red Cross and other rebuilding funds. Viacom Inc., the parent of "Jersey Shore" network MTV, said it would donate $1 million to relief and set up a $1 million employee matching gift program with the American Red Cross.
On Chelsea Handler's talk show "Chelsea Lately," guest John C. Reilly asked the studio audience to text a $10 donation to the Red Cross, and Handler responded by saying she would donate $100,000 in his name.
The sports world also has responded. The NFL and its players association joined together to donate $1 million to the Red Cross, while Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson announced a $100,000 donation, and the New York Yankees donated $500,000.
Mary J. Blige joining Sandy benefit concert
NEW YORK (AP) - Mary J. Blige and HBO are joining NBC and its benefit concert Friday for Superstorm Sandy victims.
The telethon is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Eastern and Western times, with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Sting and others performing to benefit the American Red Cross and its disaster relief efforts.
Blige was a late addition to the guest list. Actor James Gandolfini and comic Jon Stewart, who are both heavily identified with New Jersey, will also participate. The brunt of the storm hit New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.
NBC and its cable affiliates, including E!, USA, CNBC and MSNBC, are all airing it. HBO, Discovery Fit & Health and Velocity have also signed on.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.