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'American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" charity special raises $45 million

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/26/2010 

Fox announced on Friday that last week's Idol Gives Back fundraising special has raised almost $45 million.

Money raised from the event will benefit various U.S. and international charities including the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children's U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation.

"Once again, I am over overwhelmed by the generosity of the American Idol viewers, our sponsors and our special benefactors," said American Idol creator Simon Fuller.

"I am so thankful to all of the celebrity guests and performers who appeared Wednesday night to support Idol Gives Back."

The total that was announced Friday does not include net proceeds on iTunes from sales of the Top 7 ninth-season finalists' Tuesday night performances. Viewers can also still make donations via American Idol's website or by calling 1-877-IDOL-AID (1-877-436-5243).

Idol Gives Back -- which was originally modeled on British charity fundraiser Red Nose Day -- was first held in April 2007, when it raised $76 million. 

It was subsequently held again the following April and raised $64 million -- bringing its three-year total to nearly $185 million.

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