As worldwide relief efforts launch to aid survivors of last week’s cataclysmic Asian tsunamis, stars from around the world are doing their part as well, launching fundraising drives or opening their own wallets. Linkin Park may have been first out of the gate: Within three days of the disaster, the rock band (which had performed in Thailand in June) joined with the American Red Cross to form an ad hoc organization, called Music for Relief; the rockers seeded it with $100,000 of their own money. On Monday, the Red Cross also announced that Sandra Bullock donated $1 million toward its relief effort. (The Miss Congeniality star had donated the same amount to the group after 9/11.) And a spokesman for Leonardo DiCaprio announced that the actor made a ”sizable” donation to UNICEF’s aid effort in the now-devastated area in Thailand where the actor filmed his movie The Beach a few years ago.
To raise funds, NBC announced that it will air a ”celebrity driven” primetime telethon on Jan. 15 on all of its broadcast and cable outlets, including Bravo, USA, the Sci-Fi Channel, MSNBC, Trio, and CNBC. (Stars participating will be named later, the network said.) Getting a head start will be New York-area affiliate WNBC, which will produce a telethon on Wednesday that it will make available to other stations, with Sarah Jessica Parker, Debra Messing, and Téa Leoni participating. And NBC’s Jay Leno has pledged to auction off a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, to be autographed by future Tonight Show guests, as he did after 9/11.
In the United Kingdom, Boy George and old-school rocker Cliff Richard have recorded a benefit single, ”Grief Never Grows Old.” According to the BBC, the song’s composer, British radio DJ Mike Read, says that Bee Gee Robin Gibb and opera singer Russell Watson also contributed to the track, and he’s seeking vocal contributions from Olivia Newton-John and jazz singer Jamie Cullum. Meanwhile, managers of the 75,000-seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, say they’re planning a benefit concert for the weekend of Jan. 22 featuring A-list headliners. No names have been announced, but the managers have reportedly invited Coldplay and U2, whose bassist, Adam Clayton, was vacationing in Malaysia during the Dec. 26 quake but was unharmed.
Supermodel Petra Nemcova, who was in Thailand during the tidal wave and survived by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours (her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee, was washed away and remains missing), is raising money by allowing Us Weekly to photograph her as she recuperates from a broken pelvis in a Thai hospital. Proceeds from the magazine’s sale of the pictures to other outlets will benefit Save the Children.