Reporting Kurt Wolff
Blake Shelton assembled an impressive collection of friends last night (May 29) in Oklahoma City for his Healing in the Heartland benefit concert, including Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Usher and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic.
The aim was to raise money to help those affected by last week’s devastating tornado in the city of Moore, Oklahoma. The hour-long broadcast was shown on NBC, CMT, Bravo, and other channels. Throughout the show, viewers were urged to donate to United Way’s tornado relief fund.
The broadcast was packed with stellar performances, and there were numerous high points. One of them was certainly the duet between Voice coaches Shelton and Usher, who performed Michael Buble’s “Home.”
Several of the participants were either born, raised, or currently have homes in Oklahoma, including Shelton, Gill, Tedder, Lambert, Reba, and the Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney. (Moore, Oklahoma native Toby Keith, who was not present, is allegedly planning his own benefit.)
Gill sang a moving, solo acoustic version of “Threaten Me With Heaven,” while Reba performed with a full band on “Everyday People,” a song she cut with Carole King on her 2007 album Duets. Rucker performed “True Believers” and Tedder (who appeared without his OneRepublic bandmates) sang the song “Counting Stars” off the band’s latest album, Native.
Great time performing tonight thank U @blakeshelton for having me- everyone please donate 4 the tornado victims: text “Rebuild” to 52000
— OneRepublic (@OneRepublic) May 30, 2013
The Flatts chose “I’ll Stand By You,” while Bryan ran with an upbeat, positive vibe by breaking out his new single “Crash My Party.”
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) May 30, 2013
Another moment that stood out came courtesy of Lambert. When the Texas native (and currently Oklahoma resident) took the stage to sing her powerful ballad “The House That Built Me” she was visibly emotional. And by the second verse, she was reduced to tears.
Fans still looking to help can text REBUILD to 52000, call 1-800-890-4999, or visit the United Way’s online donation page. The website for United Way of Central Oklahoma notes that “monetary donations are the best way to assist” and that they will “benefit immediate and long-term recovery efforts in Oklahoma communities affected by the devastating May tornadoes.”
Shelton and the United Way are also hosting an eBay auction that runs through June 3.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) May 29, 2013