Television and comedy star Ellen DeGeneres will host Idol Gives Back from the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. The star-studded evening is part of a two-night American Idol fundraiser special to benefit relief programs for children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa.
An illustrious group of celebrity participants includes Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Earth, Wind & Fire, Il Divo, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Josh Groban with the African Children's Choir, Jack Black, Helen Mirren, Rascal Flatts, Quincy Jones, Carrie Underwood, Annie Lennox and many more.
Idol Gives Back will raise awareness and funds for Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) an organization that provides relief programs to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa. Corporate sponsors of Idol Gives Back are led by News Corporation, Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T. Allstate and ExxonMobil will make matching contributions to Save the Children and Malaria No More, respectively, via CPEF.
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On the American Idol performance show Tuesday, April 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), the Top 6 finalists will sing "life anthem" songs of compassion and hope, in keeping with the Idol Gives Back theme. After the show, viewers will vote for their favorite singers via toll-free numbers and text messages, as usual, and corporate sponsors will donate money to the charity.
The special two-hour results show Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) will feature live performances from the American Idol stage as well as Walt Disney Concert Hall, where DeGeneres will serve as host. Viewers will be able to make their own donations via toll-free pledge lines and the Internet. Ford will contribute generously by producing a very special music video that will air on Wednesday night. This video, as well as other music segments from the night, will be available for download after the show. Proceeds from the money generated will be contributed to Idol Gives Back.
Ellen DeGeneres' distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world. Her hit syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show,is now in its fourth season and recently won 15 Daytime Emmy Awards. DeGeneres was selected as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People and was voted "Favorite TV Host" in a Time magazine poll. She garnered plaudits for hosting the 79th Annual Academy Awards and the 2001 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Prior to the launch of her talk show, DeGeneres scored a rare coup in 2004 with simultaneous achievements on stage, film and in the literary world. She enjoyed unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, 'Dory,' the fish with extreme short term memory, in the blockbuster animated feature film, Finding Nemo. Meanwhile, DeGeneres crossed the country on a 35-city stand-up comedy tour, entitled the "Here and Now" tour. An HBO special of her performance at the famed Beacon Theater in New York was subsequently nominated for two Emmys. Finally, in October, Simon & Schuster published DeGeneres' second book, The Funny Thing Is..., comprising the author's comedic short stories and essays. The book hit the New York Times' Bestseller list upon its release. In 2005, DeGeneres was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the audio version of the book. Her first book, My Point...And I Do Have One, published in 1995, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In 1997, DeGeneres received the Peabody Award and an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed "Puppy Episode" of her sitcom Ellen,in which her character came out as a gay woman.
CPEF is a new charitable organization established to raise money and awareness to help combat extreme poverty in the U.S. and throughout the world, particularly in Africa. CPEF's mission is to use the power of entertainment to drive positive change to achieve its vision of creating a just world free from poverty. CPEF is inspired and supported by the UK charity that invented Red Nose Day.
In the United States, CPEF has selected America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Children's Health Fund as beneficiaries, in addition to the previously announced Save the Children. These organizations deliver support to poor children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country, providing them with medical care, food and grocery products, health and life skills, literacy programs and obesity prevention, among other important initiatives.
In Africa, funds will be dedicated to The Global Fund, Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Save the Children and The U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Each organization will receive funds to support efforts to battle poverty through various health and education programs, including delivering medical supplies and providing clean water. These organizations also aim to control and prevent malaria through practical resources and programs, including providing life-saving bed nets and other activities tied to Africa Malaria Day on April 25.
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