'Idol' gives back over $64 million to charities

LOS ANGELES - November 12, 2008 The popular Fox singing competition's star-studded gala, held at the Kodak Theatre in April, featured musical performances by Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Heart and Snoop Dogg. Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams were among the celebrities who also appeared on stage.

"Idol Gives Back" said Wednesday that grants have been made to The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Malaria No More; Children's Health Fund; U.S. programs of Save the Children; Children's Defense Fund; and Make It Right, Pitt's campaign to help New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina.

"The fact that 'American Idol' has the ability to inspire millions, create hope and change lives is simply remarkable," said "Idol" creator and executive producer Simon Fuller in a statement. "We are extremely thankful to our viewers, sponsors and outstanding talent who continue to motivate each and every one of us to contribute to those who need it the most."

Last year, the first-ever "Idol Gives Back" fundraiser netted over $75 million. It's unclear if the eighth "Idol" season, which premieres Jan. 13, will feature a third fundraising event.

"I would like to take a break, personally," said FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz in May. "In the U.K., they do 'Comic Relief' every two years. I think that's the right amount of time. I don't think you should go back to the country and ask them to donate every single year. I think it's too much. Every two years to me feels right."


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