Blake Shelton's star-studded "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma benefit Wednesday night, May 29 raised $6 million in pledges from the 8.6 million viewers who watched the concert as it was telecast over NBC. Added to that figure is the ticket sales from the 14,000 spectators who came to see the performances live at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Performing in the two-hour concert to help those affected by the May 20 tornado included event organizer and host Shelton, who did a cover of Michael Buble's "Home" with fellow "The Voice" mentor Usher for the closing number. Shelton's wife and Pistol Annies' singer Miranda Lambert gave an emotional rendition of her hit "The House That Built Me" while Vince Gill dedicated "Threaten Me with Heaven" for the 24 people who were killed in the disaster.
Other artists helping out Shelton's fundraiser were Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. Altogether, they raised a substantial amount that will go towards recovery efforts to be done by agencies that will receive funding from the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornados Relief Fund who will directly receive the proceeds from the fundraiser.
Shelton and the rest of the line-up performed under a tornado watch that very night as a thunderstorm moved over Oklahoma City just before the show started, putting the entire metro area under a tornado watch until 11 P.M.