September 10, 2010

Stand Up to Cancer benefit tonight

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JD LasicaIf you turn on your television tonight, you’ll see an imposing array of musicians, actors and athletes who’ll be participating in the Stand Up to Cancer benefit concert. The fundraising event will be broadcast live and without commercial interruption on all major networks and several cable stations — something you rarely see.

This year in the United States alone, 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer. To help them lead full lives after diagnosis, Stand Up To Cancer will bring out the stars to help raise funds to fight this scourge. Two years ago, the fundraising telecast aired across more than 170 countries, raised more than $100 million and started a groundbreaking grassroots movement to build public support for cancer research. This year they hope to go even bigger.

Celebrities announced to appear tonight include Kathy Bates, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Chiklis, George Clooney, Baron Davis, Dorothy Hamill, Anne Heche, Cheryl Hines, Randy Jackson, George Karl, Dr. Jon Lapook, Rob Lowe, Jane Lynch, Marlee Matlin, Shareen Mitchell, Olivia Munn, Lisa Niemi, Kelly Osbourne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Will Smith, Sam Trammell, Denzel Washington and Renée Zellweger.

Musical guests include Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, The Edge, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Martina McBride, Aaron Neville, Dave Stewart and Stevie Wonder.

“The broadcast is a way of saying, ‘Together, we can do this,'” Diane Sawyer said in a statement. “We’re losing one person every minute, but 11 million survivors are out there — living proof that this can be done. It will also be an opportunity for everybody to figure out concrete ways that they can do the things that they connect to the most strongly.”

The program will welcome viewers to donate through designated phone lines, as well as at standup2cancer.org. One hundred percent of all public donations will go directly to cancer research.

The event will air at 8 pm EST and PST / 7 pm CT on ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, Discovery Health, E!, MLB Network, The Style Network and other cable channels.

• See the celeb photo gallery on Washingtonpost.comJD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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