Musicians Step Up for Hurricane Sandy Relief - Rolling Stone
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Musicians Step Up for Hurricane Sandy Relief

See how artists are giving back to damaged areas in New York and New Jersey

hurricane sandy benefits

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When Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast two weeks ago, it hit harder than a lot of people expected. Communities in New York and New Jersey were ravaged by the storm and are still struggling to rebuild. They're not alone, though: many celebrities and musicians have stepped up to help, using their influence to raise awareness for relief efforts as well as personally volunteering and donating. Some musicians, including Justin Bieber and Dave Matthews Band, have pledged to donate portions of their ticket sales to charity, while others such as Justin Timberlake and John Legend have volunteered their time to distribute food and supplies. The NBC telethon featuring Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera and several others raised millions of dollars for relief, and benefit concerts from Vampire Weekend, Chris Cornell and others are also making an impact. Click through to see how musicians are rising up to aid those in need.

List by Ryan Leas

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Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and More

The massive, newly announced "Concert for Sandy Relief" at Madison Square Garden on December 12th pulls no punches with its lineup: Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Kanye West, Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, the Who, Roger Waters and Billy Joel are all set to perform. Proceeds benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

Vampire Weekend ezra

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Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors and Real Estate

Vampire Weekend is just one artist in the indie super-lineup of a November 17th Occupy Sandy benefit show at Brooklyn's St. Ann and the Holy Trinity church. They will be joined by members of the Dirty Projectors and the Walkmen, as well as Cass McCombs, Devendra Banhart and Real Estate. Tickets are a minimum donation of $30 each.

chris cornell

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Chris Cornell

On the eve of releasing Soundgarden's King Animal, Cornell treated fans to an intimate acoustic set of career-spanning deep cuts at Manhattan's Bowery Ballroom. He reportedly raised $30,000 for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Fittingly, he played two Springsteen songs, saying, "This is for New Jersey!" before "Atlantic City" and "This is for Staten Island!" before a gorgeous take on "Thunder Road."

justin timberlake jessica biel

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Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel

Having just returned from their honeymoon in Tanzania, newlyweds Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel volunteered in Far Rockaway, Queens, over the weekend. Joined by their friend Timbaland, the couple helped distribute backpacks of supplies to members of the community who were still struggling after the hurricane.

billy joel sting telethon

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Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi

A slew of the pop world's heavy-hitters joined up for NBC's "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together" telethon, with Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi all taking part. The telethon raked in a massive total of $23 million for the Red Cross.

Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga

Never to be outdone, Lady Gaga gave one of the most staggering personal donations, pledging $1 million to the Red Cross. Gaga announced her plans in a blog post; in it, she also mentioned how integral New York has been to her as an artist.

Kelly Osbourne

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Kelly Osbourne

This past weekend, Kelly Osbourne tweeted that she would be volunteering with the Salvation Army. She focused her efforts in Staten Island, one of the areas of New York most severely affected by Sandy.

Dean ween

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Dean Ween

Dean Ween, longtime frontman of Ween, has planned a November 28th benefit show at the Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey, a town severely affected by the hurricane. Ween set up the benefit for his friend Nick Honachefsky, who lost his house and all of his possessions in the storm.

Okkervil River

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Okkervil River

Will Sheff, singer of Okkervil River, took part in the East Coast Relief concert alongside Holly Miranda and other artists. The event took place at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn and proceeds were donated to the Red Cross.


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On November 1st, Roots drummer Questlove took one of his occasional turns from out behind the kit, DJing a benefit set at Brooklyn Bowl. He donated all proceeds to the Red Cross. He was at it again on November 5th, taking part in HeadCount's Participation Tour at Manhattan's Highline Ballroom, which benefited City Harvest.

buke and gase

Grant Cornett

Buke and Gase

Devastated by the damage to their former home, Buke and Gase turned their efforts specifically to Red Hook, Brooklyn. All last week, all proceeds from sales of their single went to the Red Hook Initiative's hurricane relief efforts.

adam levine

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Adam Levine

Adam Levine teamed with Charity Buzz to organize auctions for hurricane relief efforts. Levine has contributed a wide array of items to the auction, including tickets to tapings of The Voice (one option bundled with an opportunity to meet Levine) and tickets to sold-out Maroon 5 shows in the New York area bundled with signed guitars.

mike d beastie boys

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Beastie Boys

Born and raised New Yorkers, the Beastie Boys aimed to help out their hometown with a November 5th screening of their film Fight For Your Rights Revisited, alongside LCD Soundsystem's Shut Up and Play the Hits, at Brooklyn Bowl. There was a suggested donation of $10, and food and housing supplies were also collected.

Holly Miranda

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Holly Miranda

Indie songstress Holly Miranda collaborated with photographer iO Tillett Wright to organize Renegade Sandy Relief. Inspired by their desire to help people in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the duo organized this volunteer-based effort to bring direct relief to the areas of New York most affected by the hurricane.  

Dan Deacon

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Dan Deacon

Hailing from Long Island, Dan Deacon felt very personal ramifications from Hurricane Sandy. "I don't feel right going there, playing these shows and not pitching in," Deacon said, so he decided to donate his fees from his upcoming Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom shows to Occupy Sandy and the Red Cross.

Taking Back Sunday

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Taking Back Sunday

All of the profits from Taking Back Sunday's November 16th show at Manhattan's Best Buy Theater are going to relief efforts in the Long Beach area, where some of the band members grew up. A portion of the tickets sales for their November 25th show at New Jersey's Pine Belt Arena will go to the Toms River Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

justin bieber

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Justin Bieber

In a Facebook post, Justin Bieber announced plans to donate $1 from every ticket sold for his four New Jersey/New York area shows to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The run includes a show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stop at Brooklyn's new Barclays Center and a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden in New York. All four concerts are sold out.

avett brothers

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The Avett Brothers, Passion Pit and Mick Fleetwood

The Avett Brothers, Passion Pit and Mick Fleetwood were among the artists who recorded public service announcements for Move for Hunger's RebuildRecover project. Each artist urged fans to donate to the effort, which seeks to bring relief to affected communities on the New Jersey coast.

the wallflowers

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Justin Townes Earle, the Wallflowers and Tift Merritt

The recently reunited Wallflowers were a last-minute addition to a Justin Townes Earle and Tift Merritt benefit show at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, on Saturday, November 10th. The artists donated all profits to the Red Cross.

john legend

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John Legend

 On Saturday, John Legend volunteered in Rockaway Beach, distributing food and raising morale among members of the community who are still struggling without power two weeks after Sandy.

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