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BET’s SOS Telethon Raises $10 Million Dollars

betsos

Hip-Hop & R&B

took over Friday night (September 9) on BET’s live Saving Ourselves (S.O.S) Relief

Telethon.

The event

raised over $10 million dollars for the millions of people affected by the devastation

of Hurricane Katrina.

Donations came in

all sizes. Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs handed over a $1 million check

to the American Red Cross while others, such as Mary J. Blige, gave her 10-carat

diamond ring right off of her finger.

The massive ring will

be up for bid on in BET’s online auction.

Lil’ Jon and Crunk

Energy Juice donated $250,000.

"We at Crunk

and BME (Lil’ Jon’s record label) saw that we also needed to join in on the

efforts to help the victims of hurricane Katrina so we stepped up," Lil’

Jon told AllHipHop.com. "We are also partnering with Delta to fly families

to certain destinations as well as housing 30 people in Atlanta."

Sentiments ran

high as Kimora Lee Simmons, who donated $100,000 alongside her husband Russell,

began crying during her emotional plea for donations.

Rapper David Banner,

a Mississippi native who recently visited the Gulf, didn’t hold back and expressed

frustration with the media coverage of the disaster.

"I went to

the coast and there is nothing there," Banner said. "I watch how my

people are portrayed. I was affected and insulted."

Added fellow Southern

artist Young City [aka Chopper]: "We never thought it was going to hit

like that. I lost my grandma. Some of my friends died."

Rapper Q-Tip offered

advice about how to avoid gentrification in areas that are being rebuilt.

"We are trying

to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Gulf. That’s prime, water-front

property down there. I’m pretty sure when Vice President Dick Cheney went down

there, he went on double duty. In a situation like this you get to prey on the

unfortunate. We have to do everything we can as a hip-hop community to secure

that (land) and to keep that as ours."

National Urban

League president and former mayor of New Orleans Marc Morial echoed Q-Tip in

a moving speech.

"The city

must be rebuilt as the diverse, cultural gumbo that it was," Morial explained

to reporters. "Without that, it’s not New Orleans , its’ a fake cheap penny

ante imitation."

Veteran comic and

"Chappelle’s Show" cast member Paul Mooney said that race relations

in the country could be healed further by the Katrina disaster.

"America is

arrogant. Thank God for Bush. He is going to bring white people and Black people

together," he joked. "My Indian friends called me from the reservation

and said, ‘We told you. What goes around comes around. It’s just God.’"

Hidden Beach recording

artist Jill Scott didn’t quite agree with Mooney’s comedic remarks.

"It’s heartbreaking

for everybody. God is ever present He has not disappeared He’s in every step,"

she said.

Russell Simmons

said that he would adopt a very unconventional method of clothing those in need.

"There are

so many millions of (Phat Farm) clothes that are bootlegged and we are looking

to give them, instead of burning them."

Donations will

be given to the American Red Cross.

The charity has

received $536 million in gifts and pledges for the hurricane victims, of which

an estimated $282.5 million has been received online.

At least .91 cents

of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly to assist disaster

victims.

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