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"Whether we are Christians, Jews or Muslims, we all have to agree on one thing. We can never, ever again…let Mariah Carey make a movie."
——Billy Crystal


Weekend Provides Three Star-Studded Events in Honor of the Fallen Heroes of Sept. 11
A trio of tributes to the victims and survivors of the Sept. 11 terror attacks dominated the weekend calendar. Star-studded events were mounted in the nation’s capitol, in New York City and in Nashville.

On Saturday night (10/20), Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John headlined the Concert for New York benefit in Madison Square Garden. The six-hour event, televised on VH1, featured not only memorable musical performances but also moving tributes to the firefighters and policemen of New York.

David Bowie kicked off the concert with an uplifting version of his 1977 hit "Heroes." James Taylor sang "Fire and Rain" and "Up on the Roof." Eric Clapton joined Buddy Guy onstage for a short set of blues numbers. The Who busted out "Baba O’Riley," "Behind Blue Eyes" and a ferocious version of "Won’t Get Fooled Again." The Rolling StonesMick Jagger and Keith Richards offered up "Miss You" and the lesser known "Salt of the Earth." Bon Jovi echoed the call of President Bush with "Wanted Dead or Alive."

Destiny's Child, Backstreet Boys, Melissa Etheridge and Janet Jackson, who appeared via satellite from Pittsburgh, also performed.

Joel pulled an obscure gem from his songbook, 1976’s "Miami 2017," which includes the eerie lyrics, "I've seen the lights go out on Broadway, I saw the mighty skyline fall," and "they held a concert out in Brooklyn, to watch the island bridges blow." He then segued into the now-anthemic "New York State of Mind," John also took the less predictable route by playing "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" (with its many New York references). The pair united for a rendition of John’s "Your Song."

McCartney closed the show with a few songs from his new album, "I’m Down," "Yesterday" and—joined by the entire cast—"Let It Be."

The night also featured appearances by Meg Ryan, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Yankee manager Joe Torre, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and others who turned the spotlight from the stage to the real heroes of the night. Actor Jim Carrey, before introducing McCartney, grabbed a framed photo of a missing policeman from an audience member and held it high saying, "That’s what a hero looks like."

Billy Crystal offered up much-needed comic relief, calling to mind the anthrax scare and saying it was the first time he had ever seen rock stars "run away from white powder." He also provided the following zinger: "Whether we are Christians, Jews or Muslims, we all have to agree on one thing. We can never, ever again…let Mariah Carey make a movie."

In DC on the following day (10/21), over 46,000 people filled RFK Stadium to be a part of United We Stand: What More Can I Give?

Pulling double-tribute duty, the Backstreet Boys opened the 11-hour event with the national anthem. "We can't let them defeat us," said Backstreeter Kevin Richardson. "We have to get up, get out and live our lives every day."

"It’s a privilege to be here today to salute all of the heroes," added bandmate A.J. McLean.

Bette Midler sang her ballad "The Rose." Huey Lewis performed "The Heart of Rock & Roll" and "The Power of Love," dedicating the latter to New York by saying, "We send our sympathies and our prayers to the victims and their families." James Brown also performed, mixing classic tunes such as "Sex Machine" with a rendition of "God Bless America."

United We Stand also included performances by Rod Stewart, NSYNC, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, Aerosmith and Destiny’s Child, who also pulled double-duty.

The concert ended under a spray of red, white and blue confetti with Michael Jackson—joined onstage by the other artists—singing his new song written for the attack victims, "What More Can I Give?"

To the families of the victims, Jackson said, "You are not alone. You are in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our prayers."

Parts of the concert will be televised in a two-hour special on ABC Nov. 1.

Also on Sunday, in Nashville, country artists united for another tribute.

"Let freedom ring!" Martina McBride sang in the opening song, her hit about spousal abuse, "Independence Day."

Also on the lineup for the show were Alan Jackson, George Jones, Lonestar, Lee Ann Womack, Keith Urban, Sara Evans, Diamond Rio, Montgomery Gentry, Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw, Earl Scruggs and Clint Black.

Proceeds from the Concert for New York were expected to equal or exceed the $125 million to $150 million reportedly raised during the Sept. 21 telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes. Proceeds from the Washington concert—estimated at $2 million—will go to the American Red Cross Liberty Fund, the Salvation Army Relief Fund, the Pentagon Relief Fund and the Rewards for Justice Fund. Nashville proceeds will go to the Salvation Army and for financial help for families affected by the terror attacks.