All Five Former Presidents Put Politics Aside This Weekend For Hurricane Relief

Lady Gaga was there, too.

All five living former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter — put aside their political differences and united on Saturday to help the victims of recent hurricanes.

The presidents were in attendance together at Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal Concert, at Texas A&M University. The event was part of their hurricane relief initiative One America Appeal, launched last month to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and later expanded to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Saturday's concert — which featured performances from such artists as Alabama, Lyle Lovett, and Cassadee Pope — sold out in less than 24 hours earlier this month. According to CNN, as of Sunday afternoon, the One America Appeal had raised nearly $33 million from more than 80,000 donors. Funds will go to various charities helping hurricane victims in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. 

Singer Lady Gaga also made a surprise appearance at Saturday's event, where she performed for the crowd and posed for a photo with the former presidents. "Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe," she wrote on Twitter.

The image prompted more than one social media joke about Gaga being an honorary president. CNN also reports that the singer made a "generous" donation to the cause, according to George H.W. Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath.

"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 elder Bush said at the concert.

Carter, meanwhile, shared that Habitat For Humanity is building 6,000 homes in areas affected by the storms, having raised $20 million of a $100 million goal. 

According to ABC News, although President Donald Trump wasn't at the concert in person, he shared a prerecorded video message. "As we begin to rebuild, some of America's finest public servants are spearheading the One America Appeal," he said. "Through this effort, all five living former presidents are playing a tremendous role in helping our fellow citizens recover."

"All of us on this stage here tonight could not be prouder of the response of Americans. When they see their neighbors, and they see their friends, they see strangers in need, Americans step up," Obama told the crowd. "And as heartbreaking as the tragedies that took place ... have been, what we've also seen is the spirit of America at its best."


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