Blake Shelton, Toby Keith boost benefits for Oklahoma
Two days after tornadoes cut a swath through Oklahoma, the first benefit concert in support of the victims is on its way. Oklahoma boy Blake Shelton has announced he's working with American network NBC to put together a fundraising concert.
The country music star and his wife, fellow performer Miranda Lambert, delivered an emotional acoustic version of their song Over You Tuesday night on the TV singing contest The Voice (on which he serves as a celebrity judge) as a tribute to the thousands who lost homes and loved ones.
Shelton is planning his benefit for the area near Oklahoma City, where the tornadoes hit on Sunday and Monday. The date and other stars on the lineup are yet to be announced.
The deadly event also saw at least 24 people, nine of them schoolchildren, killed in the nearby town of Moore, Okla. Officials estimate more than $2 billion US of damage, including 13,000 homes destroyed or otherwise affected. On Thursday, cleanup efforts were hampered by thunderstorms in the area, known as Tornado Alley.
Toby Keith hails from the town of Moore, where 24 people died. (Associated Press)
Singer Toby Keith is from Moore — he's so revered that his name is emblazoned on the town's water tower — and had left town just hours before the tornadoes hit. He's also putting out feelers about a benefit concert, perhaps in the football stadium at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
"[Moore]'s the reason I never moved to Nashville. It's home. I tried to live other places and always just came back here," Keith told NBC News anchor Brian Williams.
This week, Keith toured his hometown to witness the damage.
"You see people pitching in and helping the second that it hit," he said.
"My son-in-law went right in, turned his truck over getting there, gets electrocuted climbing in the school. The EMT guys pull him out of there and tend to him, and then he goes right back in and helps with search and rescue. Everybody's like that."
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