Bun B worked with Scooter Braun to put on a star-studded telethon on Tuesday night (Sept. 12) to raise money for Hurricane Irma and Harvey victims, and it's done better than he could have expected.
"The last total I had, had us at $40 million. I’m still waiting on another total this morning," Bun said in an exclusive phone call with REVOLT TV on Wednesday morning. He had just boarded a plane back to Houston, where he plans to continue volunteering in the street. Other reports say the telethon raised more than $44 million.
"My original goal was, I thought if we could get $20 million that would be a major effort and touch the people the way that we wanted to. But it just went above and beyond. The outpouring of emotion from the average person, the common man seeing this call for humanity and answering it."
The live telecast featured, by way of in-person appearances and pre-recorded messages: REVOLT chairman Diddy, Beyoncé, Drake, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx, DJ Khaled (and, of course, baby Asahd), Matthew McConaughey, Justin Bieber, Julia Roberts, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Kelly Rowland, Dave Matthews, Julianne Moore, Questlove, Ryan Seacrest, Bruce Willis, Lupita Nyong'o, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Cher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss, Rob Lowe, Blake Shelton, Barbra Streisand, Nicki Minaj, Reese Witherspoon and more. Variety reports that the event drew 15.7 million viewers.
The UGK co-founder came up with the idea of the telethon because he wanted to help victims on a large scale. When researching previous humanitarian efforts, he found that the most successful ones were telethons.
Bun B said he was impressed by the celebrities who were all willing to donate their time, energy and money to his hometown.
"It was good to see people that we usually equate with money, fortune, power, and in the terms of Hollywood, superficiality and being fake. But there was nothing fake about these people’s involvement last night," he admitted. "Everyone was there because they wanted to be there. No one was coerced, some of them reached out to us telling us they wanted to be a part of it."