Larry King Raises $1.7 Million at Star-studded Gulf Telethon

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Tuesday, Jun 22, 2010  |  Updated 6:56 AM PDT
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Larry King Live: Disaster in the Gulf telethon raised funds for three charities: the United Way, the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.

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Larry King once again took to the airwaves to ask callers for dollars, and netted more than $1.7 million to aid the Gulf Coast.

Among the guests tapped to appear on the veteran CNN host’s latest celebrity-backed telethon were Robert Redford, Randy Jackson, Justin Bieber, Sting and Cameron Diaz.

"Everyone's really pissed off," actress Jenny McCarthy told co-host Ryan Seacrest, describing the reaction pouring in online on the show’s “Tweet Suite.” Viewers had been encouraged to sound-off on Facebook and Twitter.

New Orleans native Aaron Neville said most of calls he answered came from New Yorkers concerned about dying animals.

"People are crying on the phone and giving money," Neville said.

Singer India Arie and Herbie Hancock performed a jazzed-up cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Callers were able direct their money to the United Way, National Wildlife Fund or The Nature Conservancy.

At the end of Monday’s two-hour “Disaster In the Gulf: How You Can Help,” King announced that CNN viewers had pledged $1,329,235 in small and large donations.

A similar King telethon for Haiti relief  last January following the country’s devastating earthquake reportedly took in $5 million.

Late Monday, a BP spokesman said in a statement to CNN that the company is "proceeding with urgency to make the situation right for the environment and for those who have affected by this tragic event."

"We stated from the beginning that we accept responsibility for cleaning up the spill and for paying all legitimate claims for those directly impacted financially by this environmental disaster," BP's statement said.
 

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