Yahoo! will be streaming the Stand Up To Cancer Benefit on September 7. One-hundred percent of all public donations will go directly to cancer research. Talent said to be participating: Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, and Coldplay on the music end, with executive producers Gwyneth Paltrow and Joel Gallen bringing along Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Chelsea Handler, Rashida Jones, Minka Kell, and Jessica Biel, among the many, to entertain and answer the phones! The website--www.standup2cancer.org--can be consulted for more information.
Benefit concerts have provided attendees with some pretty fabulous talent to enjoy. It isn't often that one gets to stand in the middle of a field and hear a lineup of Grade A musical talent all in a row! Think of all the times you waited out an opening act to get to the headliners, and then think of the pure heaven that makes up some of these lineups. Plus, you get to do something that helps other people, all while enjoying yourself. Pinch me, I'm altruistic!
Here are 10 never-forget moments in Benefit concert history...
10) The Concert For Bangladesh: Two benefit concerts organized by former Beatle George Harrison and Norah Jones's dad, Ravi Shankar, were held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, August 1, 1971, to raise money and awareness for East Pakistan refugees, struggling to become Bangladesh. The first benefit concert of its kind, "The Concert" brought together Harrison, Shankar, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Badfinger, Ali Akbar Khan, and Bob Dylan.
9) The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Held on Easter Monday, April 20, 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium, this concert was both a tribute to the life of the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury and a benefit for AIDS research. Some folks performed with the surviving members of Queen, while others stood alone. Metallica, Def Leppard, U2, Guns N' Roses (with Slash and Axl!), Seal, David Bowie and Mick Ronson, Elton John, George Michael, Annie Lennox, and Robert Plant gave it their supportive all. Queen, Elton, and Axl even performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" together!
8) No Nukes: No Nukes consisted of several concerts held at Madison Square Garden in September 1979 by the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) group founded that year by Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, and Orleans's John Hall. Attendees enjoyed the music of those mentioned as well as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Tom Petty, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
7) Live Earth: Internet inventor Al Gore approved an event to combat climate change. On July 7, 2007, more than 150 musical acts performed in South Africa, Brazil, Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Antarctica, and the U.S.A. Performers included the Police, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Smashing Pumpkins, Akon, Beastie Boys, Spinal Tap, Madonna, Garth Brooks, Wolfmother, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Xzibit, Bonnie Pin, Macy Gray, Pharrell, Lenny Kravitz, Anthony Wong, Wang Rui, and Nunatak.
6) Farm Aid: What do Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young all have in common? They're all friends with Dave Matthews! Matthews joined the Board Of Directors for this great cause that helps the American farmer and has brought everyone from Hoyt Axton to Rick James to the stage. It's a proven great way to see Willie Nelson and Neil Young, too. This year's event is planned for September 22 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Nelson, Mellencamp, Young, and Neil's wife Pegi will be at Hersheypark Stadium, so get high on chocolate and enjoy the show!
5) Live 8: Remembered for being the last time the four long-standing members of Pink Floyd played together (keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008), Live 8 (July 2, 2005) was a series of "8" concerts that took place during the 20th Anniversary of Live Aid. Neil Young and wife Pegi, Tragically Hip with Dan Aykroyd, Dido, Annie Lennox, Neneh Cherry, Elton John, R.E.M., Snoop Dogg, Pet Shop Boys, Muse, the Cure, Def Leppard, Kanye West, Duran Duran, Bjork, and Do As Infinity delighted audiences in Toyko, Rome, Philadelphia, Paris, Moscow, London, Johannesburg, Edinburgh, Cornwall, Berlin, Barrie (north of Toronto) and in living rooms throughout the world. (That's not 8, that's 11!)
4) A Conspiracy Of Hope: Amnesty International gets the greatest shows! From The Secret Policeman's Other Ball to Human Rights Now!, the concerts are the envy of other determined causes. A Conspiracy Of Hope took place as a series of concerts in June 1986 that rolled out across America, from California through Colorado, Georgia and Illinois to New Jersey! Major artists included U2, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Bryan Adams, the Neville Brothers, and Joan Baez. Ruben Blades performed with Fela and Carlos Santana, while Yoko Ono, Joni Mitchell, and Miles Davis also made the program.
3) The SARS Benefit Concert: On July 30, 2003, the SARS Benefit Concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was held to prove to the world that the city was safe from SARS. Rush, the Guess Who, and honorary Canadians the Rolling Stones played what was called the largest concert in Canadian History. Mick Jagger walked to the mic and declared, "Margaret Trudeau, we are here!"
2) Live Aid: Sometimes considered that generation's "Woodstock" for collecting so many young people in two overcrowded places, Live Aid (July 13, 1985) was an event of immensely enjoyable current talent that raised the profile of the Boomtown Rats' Bob Geldof immeasurably. Concerts at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia ensured Phil Collins two places to play that day, while less travel-savvy musicians such as Status Quo, Sade, Bryan Ferry, U2, Queen, David Bowie, the Who, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, the Pretenders, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan and his bumbling cousins performed in just one stadium apiece.
1) America: A Tribute To Heroes: Anyone conscious during those dark days after September 11, 2001 remembers the sorrow and pain felt throughout the country and the world. In a moment of unity, this benefit concert, organized by Joel Gallen and George Clooney just 10 days after the attacks, was recorded in New York City, Los Angeles, and London and aired without commercial interruption on all the major networks. People the world over watched as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, U2, Faith Hill, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready, the Dixie Chicks, Mariah Carey, and Willie Nelson, among others, proved that music's healing properties could unite us all. We all felt less alone.