Fox announces second 'Idol Gives Back' charity event to air April 9
By Christopher Rocchio, 12/12/2007
Fox has announced that American Idol will once again host an Idol Gives Back fund-raising event benefiting various U.S. and international charities, with the live two-hour concert and fundraiser scheduled to air Wednesday, April 9 at 8PM ET (PT tape-delayed).
Idol Gives Back's2007 charity event aired over the course of two late-April Idol sixth-season episode broadcasts, and the event raised $75 million from both home viewer and corporate contributions.
In the U.S., Idol Gives Back supported various charities that aid underprivileged children, providing them with medical care; food and grocery products; health and life skills; literacy programs and obesity prevention; and other important initiatives. The event also donated funds to charitable causes in Africa, such as organizations that support efforts to battle poverty through various health and education programs, including delivering medical supplies and providing clean water.
"This remarkable achievement hopefully will enable the launch of a stand-alone event in the coming years to expand upon this important beginning," said Idol creator Simon Fuller following the event.
As part of Idol Gives Back, comedian Ellen DeGeneres hosted a benefit concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which featured performances by Earth, Wind & Fire; Il Divo; Josh Groban with the African Children's Choir; a duet between original Idol champ Kelly Clarkson and guitarist Jeff Beck; and Annie Lennox.
In addition, Idol aired a version of "I'll Stand By You" recorded specifically for Idol Gives Back by Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood. Thanks to the wonder of technology, Celine Dion also performed a duet with Elvis Presley, who's been dead since 1977. (Dion was placed beside "The King" during a 1967 performance of "If I Could Dream.")
Idol 6's Top 6 finalists -- Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Phil Stacey and Chris Richardson -- also performed "Time to Care," an original song written by Quincy Jones, the music legend who produced 1985's "We Are the World" Ethiopian famine relief song.
Idol Gives Back's genesis began with Fuller and Richard Curtis, an Australian-born British screenwriter who annually organizes Red Nose Day in the U.K., which uses "comic relief" as well as both British and American celebrities to raise money and awareness for African causes through a special on the BBC.
Idol's seventh season will premiere over the course of two consecutive nights on Tuesday, January 15 and Wednesday, January 16, with both two-hour broadcasts beginning at 8PM ET/PT. Idol 7's first half-hour results show broadcast will air Wednesday, March 12 at 9PM ET/PT.