Rock legend Paul McCartney was among the headliners in New York City at a benefit concert for superstorm Sandy, fronting a reunion of the surviving members of the grunge band Nirvana.

The former Beatle and Wings superstar was joined on stage at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night by Nirvana's Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear.

It was the first time the three Nirvana members had played together in 20 years.

Other artists raising money for people affected by Sandy included the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, the Who, Eric Clapton and Bon Jovi.

News of McCartney fronting the Nirvana reunion sparked a mixed — and at times heated — response ahead of the concert, which was televised, streamed online, played on the radio and shown in theatres around the world.