Stars from Britain and America raise funds via a live telethon

A STAR-studded telethon to raise funds for Haiti took place last night in the United States with a British leg, after acts such as Rihanna, Jay-Z, Coldplay and Bono agreed to perform to raise funds for the stricken nation.

The chart-topping musicians announced they will perform live from London for a hastily arranged MTV event that is expected to be viewed by tens of millions around the world. "Hope For Haiti Now" will be hosted by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney in Los Angeles and by Haitian-born hip-hop star Wyclef Jean in New York.

Launched last night at 1am GMT, the telethon was expected to jump between the three cities, taking in performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder and Sting, with CNN journalist Anderson Cooper reporting live from Haiti. Jennifer Hudson, Mary J Blige, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend and Sheryl Crow will also sing.

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The stars' performances will be uploaded to Apple's iTunes store and sold for $0.99 (61p) to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake. Bono and Jay-Z plan to contribute further by recording a duet about the impoverished nation's plight. They are understood to have already written and produced the track and will give the song its debut, with the help of Rihanna and Bono's U2 bandmate the Edge, during the telethon.

Music mogul Simon Cowell is also working on a charity single. The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent judge is expected to use show stars Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, and fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole on the track. The single is expected to be a cover-version of REM's Everybody Hurts.