Idol Gives Back Returns For Third Year

Oct. 6 2009, Published 5:48 a.m. ET

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Jerry Lewis has got some competition on the charity circuit: American Idol Tuesday announced the return of Idol Gives Back, its annual benefit show that has raised more than $140 million toward causes that benefit various American and international organizations.

Past years have seen appearances from the creme de la creme of the political, athletic and entertainment worlds, including Pres. Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Robin Williams and Peyton Manning, among others.

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“I am very pleased to announce that we will be doing our third Idol Gives Back,” Simon Fuller, the creator of American Idol and Idol Gives Back, said. “This is our opportunity to reach out and support the people of America and around the world who need our compassion and generosity to improve or even save their lives. America will undoubtedly prove once again what a remarkable and generous nation it is. For America to be able to facilitate this kind of initiative makes me very proud.”

Fox's Mike Darnell said the poor economy makes the need for a benefit such as Idol Gives back that much more important.

"We’re focused on raising awareness about the challenges that so many children and families currently face and demonstrating how even small donations can make a difference and help save lives," Darnell said. "Every little bit counts.”

Funds raised by the charity special will be funneled toward organizations such as Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation.

Idol Gives Back airs during the show's top 7 results show on Wednesday, April 21 at 8/7c on FOX.



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