Five former US presidents appear together at hurricane relief concert

22nd Oct 17 | Entertainment News

It is the first time they have appeared together since 2013.

The five living former US presidents appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert to raise money for hurricane victims across America and the Caribbean.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H W Bush and George W Bush stood united in support of their fellow countrymen at the One America Appeal concert at the Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, on Saturday night.

The relief effort has already raised 31 million US dollars (£24 million) since it began on September 7.

In a pre-recorded video message broadcast at the start of the concert, the five ex-presidents explained why they were backing the appeal.

Mr Obama said: “As former presidents we want to help our fellow Americans begin to recover.”

And Mr Clinton added: “People are hurting… but, as one Texan put it, we’ve got more love in Texas than water.”

The former presidents were originally inspired to come together in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which unleashed devastating flooding that threatened hundreds of thousands of Texans.

The appeal has since expanded twice to include recovery efforts in Florida from Hurricane Irma, and in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands from Hurricane Maria.

Speaking ahead of the concert, 41st US president George H W Bush said: “It’s important that those affected by these devastating storms know that, even if the path to recovery feels like a road that goes on forever, we’re with them for the long haul.”

The concert featured performances from stars such as Lady Gaga and four-time Grammy award winner Lyle Lovett.

Current US president Donald Trump also sent a video message for the concert, in which he congratulated his predecessors for “spearheading” the relief effort.

He said: “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.”

© Press Association 2017

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