Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and several other celebrities took part in the “Hand in Hand” telethon Tuesday night to raise recovery funds following storms Harvey and Irma. Together, their star power — combined with moving speeches about survivors and performances — helped raise more than $44 million for hurricane relief.

The one-hour telethon, which aired on ABC and other major television networks, kicked off in Los Angeles with a gospel choir joining Stevie Wonder in a “Lean on Me” rendition. Gomez, Justin Bieber and Beyoncé, among others, gave speeches and led prayers that moved them nearly to tears.

"During the time where it's impossible to watch the news without seeing violence or racism in this country, just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives," Beyoncé said. "Natural disasters don't discriminate. They don't see if you're an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor ... we're all in this together.”

The telethon swapped back and forth between Nashville — where Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Usher and Blake Shelton took the lead — California and New York City.

Here’s what the telethon headquarters looked like in Times Square, where actors, performers and comedians tried to fight the humor in an event charged with emotion.

Host Jimmy Fallon encouraged his team of A-listers.

More than two dozen celebrities sat behind Fallon
More than two dozen celebrities sat behind Fallon in ABC News' "Good Morning America" studio in Times Square, taking pledge calls and tracking donations. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

Robert De Niro was among those who hopped on the phone ...

The native New Yorker took calls with a
The native New Yorker took calls with a smile. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

... but he was in good company.

De Niro's
De Niro's "Godfather" co-star Al Pacino served as his desk mate, and directly behind the duo sat Leonardo DiCaprio. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

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Things got a little rowdy at times.

But that's apparently what happens when you put
But that's apparently what happens when you put Sam Smith, Uzo Aduba, Jamie Foxx, Steve Buscemi and Bruce Willis together to take cold calls. The rowdier the better: The accepted donations included a reported $5 million contribution by Apple Inc. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

Dave Matthews performed with a Times Square backdrop.

Other emotional performances during the telethon included Usher
Other emotional performances during the telethon included Usher and Blake Shelton's "Stand by Me," Demi Lovato, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley and CeCe Winans' "With a Little Help from My Friends," and Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly's "Hallelujah." (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

Lupita Nyong'o snapped the night away ...

The
The "Queen of Katwe" actress, donning a "We should all be feminists" tee, posted selfies on Twitter and Instagram with everyone in her row, from Julianne Moore to Questlove to Savannah Guthrie to Daniel Craig. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)

... and she wasn’t the only one.

We see you, Sam Smith.
We see you, Sam Smith. (Credit: Getty Images / Hand in Hand / Theo Wargo)