Stevie Wonder kicked off Tuesday night’s star-studded hurricane relief telethon using a shot at people who believe there can be “no such thing” as global warming.
The R&B legend sat down to the piano for the nationally-televised in addition to live-streamed event in addition to opened using a message of unity, explaining which people had come together to support those who had been devastated by Hurricanes Harvey in addition to Irma.
“When love goes with action, the idea preferences no coloring of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, in addition to no political persuasions. the idea just loves,” Wonder began. “As we should begin to love in addition to value our planet.”
“in addition to anyone who believes there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind, or unintelligent,” he added. “Lord, please save us all.”
Wonder then launched into a performance of “Lean On Me.”
although the musician quickly came under fire on social media for bringing politics into the relief event almost immediately after the idea had begun.
“Dear Stevie Wonder, thanks for politicizing right at the beginning of the concert. Saved me an hour,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I’m not going to underwrite Stevie Wonder lecturing me on climate. I’ll give to my church, in addition to let them sort the idea out,” wrote another.
Wonder wasn’t the only star to talk about climate change at the event; during her segment, Beyoncé said the effects of climate change “are playing out around the globe every day.”
“Just This specific past week we have seen devastation via the monsoon in India, an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, in addition to multiple catastrophic hurricanes,” the pop superstar said. “Irma alone has left a trail of death in addition to destruction via the Caribbean to Florida to the southern United States. We have to be prepared for what comes next. So tonight, we come together in a collective effort to raise our voices, to help our communities, to lift our spirits in addition to heal.”
The celebrity-stacked relief telethon — put together by Scooter Braun in addition to Bun B — reportedly raised $14 million in an hour, according to TMZ.
additional celebrity participants included George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Justin Bieber, Drake, Cher, Julia Roberts, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert, Chris Paul, Al Pacino, Usher, Michael Strahan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Barbra Streisand, Reese Witherspoon, Dave Matthews, Jamie Foxx, Blake Shelton, Billy Crystal, Matthew McConaughey, in addition to Oprah Winfrey, among dozens of others.
Watch the complete telethon here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum