5 ex-US presidents appear together for hurricane aid


Rough cut (no reporter narration).

President Donald Trump, in a video address recorded for the One America Appeal concert Saturday night, lauded the nation's five living former presidents for the hurricane relief effort and promised the United States will "come back stronger and better than ever before".

It was an evening originally planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bush's 41st presidential library at Texas A&M University, but it transformed into opportunity for all five former presidents to raise money for hurricane victims.

His video statement was shown at Saturday's fund-raising concert.

The lineup featured country music band Alabama, Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams as well as Texas musicians Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, while Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance.

The singer gave an impassioned speech to the audience and announced she would be donating $1 million (£759,000) to hurricane relief efforts.

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About 11,000 people attended the concert, which was livestreamed on the One America Appeal YouTube channel, theOneAmericaAppeal.org website and the organization's Twitter feed, a spokesperson for One America told Reuters.

Taking to Instagram, the 31-year-old has shared a photo of herself standing behind Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. They appealed for national unity to help those hurt by the hurricanes.

"The heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems", Clinton said.

The last time the five were together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas. Clinton and George W. Bush combined to seek donations after Haiti's 2011 natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane on August 25, unleashing historic flooding in Houston and killing more than 80 people.

In total, the former presidents have raised $31 million through their appeal from 80,000 donors, and according to ABC, the initiative has already distributed nearly $13 million to the Florida Disaster Fund, Rebuild Texas Fund, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Juntos y Unidos por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the Virgin Islands. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit hurricane victims.