The Roots with Usher, Ryan Adams and Norah Jones were among the artists to perform during the all-star Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU fundraiser, which live-streamed Friday night on Facebook.
The four-hour fundraiser – hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring appearances by Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Steve Buscemi and many more – brought in nearly $150,000, all of which went to the ACLU.
The Roots with Usher performed at the telethon’s one-hour and 23-minute mark, with the tandem collaborating on an updated take on Eugene McDaniels’ 1970 protest song “Cherrystones,” which was a criticism of the political inactivism at that time.
“Yo, being armchair activist is laziness, when this administration is the craziest,” Black Thought fired off in the song’s opening line. “Dedicated religious figures been going atheist / Each and everything must change, there’s no escaping this.” After the Roots refashioned the 1970 song with some fresh verses, Usher took over for the remainder of “Cherrystones.”
Earlier in the program, at the 19-minute mark, Norah Jones performed, while pre-recorded footage of Adams playing his “Tell Me Something Good” solo in his home studio pops up at the one-hour and 41-minute mark of the live-stream.
In the fundraiser’s final hour, Buscemi and ACLU members talked at length about legislation Congress pushed forward this week aimed at stripping away privacy rights on the internet, with the actor stating we must make sure “innovation doesn’t chip away at our civil liberties,”
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“Here we are in 2017, which is already way past where Marty McFly went into the future, and your privacy is under attack by the Biffs of the world,” Buscemi said, alluding to Back to the Future‘s Trump-like villain. “Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to repeal internet privacy protection that had been approved by the FCC. That’s bad, and we need to fight this.”
Other artists featured during the Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU included Hamilton Leithauser, Tituss Burgess, Emily King and multiple performances by house band Wyndham Baird.