Former Presidents Jimmy CarterGeorge H.W. BushBill ClintonGeorge W. Bush and Barack Obama gathered in Texas for a benefit concert to raise funds for hurricane relief.


The presidents first came together last month to launch their initiative, “One America Appeal,” to raise money. Since then, it has raised $31 million, with contributions from around 80,000 donors. 100% of the proceeds are going to helping hurricane victim recovery.

On Saturday, more than 10,000 people joined the presidents at Texas A&M University’s Reed Arena for the sold-out “Deep from the Heart: One American Appeal” benefit concert. Lyle LovettLee Greenwood, and Yolanda Adams were among the night’s performers. Lady Gaga also made a surprise appearance and announced that she would donate $1 million to the relief fund.

“Howdy! It’s a great pleasure for me to be here with the other presidents to carry out this project,” President Carter began. He took time to promote the work of Habitat for Humanity, which, he clarified, is located in his home state of Georgia. Clinton took to the stage next. “When President George H.W. Bush was trying to persuade the Congress to pass one of his noblest efforts, the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said, ‘Our problems are great, but the heart of America is greater.’ That’s what we’re here to celebrate,” he said.

The crowd cheered the loudest for Obama. “All of us on this stage here tonight could not be prouder of the response of Americans when they see their neighbors and they see their friends, they see strangers in need, Americans step up,” the President said. “And as heartbreaking as the tragedies that took place here in Texas and in Florida, in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands have been, what we’ve also seen is the spirit of America at its best. When ordinary ppl step up and do extraordinary things. The One America Appeal is part of that process.”

While Donald Trump did not appear in person at the event, he did send in a video message. In it, he lauded the resiliency of the American people and called his predecessors “tremendous” in their efforts. “To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance,” Trump read out. “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.”

See the 3.5 hour live-stream of the event below.

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