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Raycom Media presented Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief on Labor Day, September 5, 2016, from 7 to 9 p.m. The concert was broadcasted live across all Raycom Media television stations which reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households and will be carried nationally on Bounce TV.
"Saddened by the devastating tragedies that keep affecting my Louisiana," said Randy Jackson, who was born and raised in Baton Rouge. "I want to help raise awareness and restore hope to people that are hurting in the place that I will always call home."
"So sorry that my home state is undergoing such hardship once again," stated Harry Connick Jr. "Seems like just yesterday that Katrina left a path of destruction. I hope that this benefit concert brings much needed attention to the good people of Louisiana."
Throughout the broadcast, Matthew McConaughey, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., John Goodman, Britney Spears, James Taylor, Trace Adkins, Governor John Bel Edwards, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Scott Bakula, Vanessa Ferlito, Les Miles and Tim McGraw lent messages of support.
The packed lineup of more than a dozen artists included five-time Grammy nominee and Louisiana native Hunter Hayes and the unmistakable voice of New Orleans, Aaron Neville.
"I am so thrilled to be a part of this benefit concert," shared Hayes. "I hope it not only helps the people who need our help, but also brings much needed attention to the beautiful people of my home state."
"I'm happy to be able to aid Louisiana, my home state," said Neville, whose career spans more than 50 years and includes multiple platinum albums and Top 10 hits. "The people there are in my prayers- that they can find their way back. God bless."
Better Than Ezra, Rebirth Brass Band, Sonny Landreth, Chris Thomas King, Chris LeBlanc, Herman Jackson Quartet, MacKenzie Bourg, Quiana Lynell, David Torkanowsky, MacKenzie Bourg, Dwayne Dopsie, Luther Kent, and Zachary Richard also joined the cause.
Raycom Media's Tupelo-Honey Raycom produced the show, and Johnny Palazzotto, a fixture of the Baton Rouge music scene, served as music director.
The show was broadcast from Baton Rouge's River Center Theater and will benefit the American Red Cross's Louisiana Flood Relief fund. Tickets were not be sold to the public. The concert was produced for a television broadcast audience and was shown locally on WAFB Channel 9.
"We are very proud of the coverage our employees at WAFB have provided to viewers in the Baton Rouge area, despite their personal losses," said Pat LaPlatney, Raycom Media President and CEO. "With the help of Cary Glotzer's team at Tupelo-Honey Raycom, the rest of the country will see what a terrible and devastating event that this continues to be and how they can help. Our goal is to raise awareness – and more importantly, money – for the tens of thousands of people who need help to get back on their feet."
The August floods are responsible for the deaths of 13 people and damage to more than 60,000 homes. At least 100,000 people need assistance. Thousands are living in shelters. Early damage estimates reach $20-billion. The American Red Cross says the disaster in Louisiana is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the Northeast in 2012.
"As broadcasters, we have a responsibility to help people of the areas we serve," said Sandy Breland, Raycom Media Group Vice President. "So many people are hurting, right now. And they have lost so much, our hope is that this concert can help raise money for them to rebuild their lives."