Annie Lennox at the 2007 "Idol Gives Back"
Here's today's announcement:
After raising an astounding $75 million last season, AMERICAN IDOL will once again host IDOL GIVES BACK, a music celebration raising awareness and benefiting various U.S. and international charities.
The two-hour concert and fundraiser will air Wednesday, April 9 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.
In 2007, IDOL GIVES BACK raised $75 million for various U.S. charities that deliver support to underprivileged children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country, providing them with medical care, food and grocery products, health and life skills, literacy programs and obesity prevention, among other important initiatives. In Africa, funds were dedicated to organizations that support efforts to battle poverty through various health and education programs, including delivering medical supplies and providing clean water.
The brainchild of Simon Fuller, last season’s IDOL GIVES BACK special featured performances from the AMERICAN IDOL stage, where Ryan Seacrest hosted alongside AMERICAN IDOL judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. The special was also broadcast from the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles where Ellen DeGeneres served as host.
The night featured performances and appearances by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and culminated with Bono and Dave Stewart’s specially commissioned song “American Prayer,” performed by the Top 6 finalists.
As entertainment, last year's show wasn't that great. But at least it involved a commercial venue putting its success to good use. "Idol" certainly makes plenty of money for itself, through commercials and other means (it topped a recent Nielsen list of shows with product placement). It's good that it also believes in using its ratings power to raise money for causes.