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Wyclef Jean Joins George Clooney To Lead MTV’s ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Telethon

Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.

Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.

Yele Haiti FoundationHaitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.

Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.

  • Lance ArmstrongCyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
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  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
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  • David BlaineMeanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
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  • RihannaBut George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.

Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.

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President Obama Gathers His ‘A’ List for First State Dinner

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Click here for list: Expected Attendees at Tonight’s State Dinner

The dinner honors India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

—What’s the hottest ticket in the nation’s capital? An engraved invitation to Tuesday’s White House state dinner, the first hosted by President Obama.

He and the first lady will honor India’s prime minister. But in a departure from the traditional venue — the elegant State Dining Room — the Obama’s will gather with a few hundred VIPs in a huge, heated tent on the South Lawn.

Glamor and Grace


The guest list for the black-tie gala remains a closely guarded secret. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will certainly be there.

Several notables are good bets, such as Oprah Winfrey and Chicago hotel billionaire Penny Pritzker, as are top Obama aides David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel.

Tonight's Menu and Desert

Dee Dee Myers, who served as President Clinton’s press secretary, said the lobbying by people seeking an invite had probably been relentless. The first [state dinner] is always the most dramatic,” Myers said. “First impressions are important. That’s your A list, that’s your top game right there. By the time you get to the eighth state dinner, it’ll be a lot less important.”

The gargantuan tent affords a bigger crowd than could fit in the State Dining Room, which holds 140.

State dinners generally draw administration officials and members of Congress, the Cabinet and the diplomatic corps. Obama donors and corporate titans, Hollywood glamour, athletic greats and leading artists are bound to be thrown into the mix, possibly joined by some academics and journalists.

And the morning after, hotheads left off the list are bound to let off steam.

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh

There’s always a few angry calls,” Myers said, “because people read the guest list” in the morning papers.

But until the dinner takes place, the heat is on, perhaps for no two people more than Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, and Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s top chef.

Myers was a guest at a few state dinners put on by Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is another guaranteed attendee Tuesday. As Secretary of State, she hand-delivered the invitation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July.

Tented parties for state dinners aren’t entirely new. In President Clinton’s final year in office, he had about 700 guests under a tent for an earlier Indian prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee.

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President Obama and Prime Minister Singh Press Conference | The White House

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Obama State Dinner Challenges, Real & Imagined: A Vegetarian Guest of Honor, A Scarcity of Vegetables…

Vegetable veracity: The garden is low on crops, Mr. Singh is fond of fish, and about that beehive gift for dinner guests…

Please visit our friends at Obama Foodorama. They have more pictures and details about the tent, menu, chef, etc…they are a great source for anything food related at the Obama White House. 🙂

Jennifer Hudson to Perform Tonight

Oscar Winner will perform at the Obama administration's first state dinner Tuesday.

Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson will perform at the Obama administration's first state dinner Tuesday.

Politico/Nia-Malika Henerson—Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson will perform at the Obama administration’s first state dinner Tuesday, according to several sources.

Hudson, a Chicago native who performed at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, will perform for 320 guests at the black tie affair.

The Obamas have had several soul singers perform at the White House. For the Governor’s Dinner, they drew on their Chicago connection and had funk band Earth, Wind and Fire perform for guests.

Hudson suffered a major family tragedy in 2008 when her mother, brother and nephew were killed. Obama, who was campaigning at the time, sent condolences to Hudson.

Hudson got her start as a contestant on American Idol and has been a winner at the Oscars and Grammys. She was recently tapped to play Winnie Mandela in a forthcoming biopic.


First Lady Michelle Obama Discusses State and Official Visits

As the White House prepares for tonight’s State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur of India, First Lady Michelle Obama hosts young women from the White House Leadership and Mentoring Program to discuss the history and protocol that surround State and Official Visits. The First Lady discusses how protocol and hospitality can help foster good relations and build strong friendships.

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Couple slips though security to crash state dinner
WASHINGTON – The Secret Service says it’s looking into its own security procedures after determining that two people crashed Tuesday night’s state dinner at the White House.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says that President Barack Obama was never in any danger. Donovan says the party crashers went through the same security screening as the 300-plus people actually invited to the dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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