MANHATTAN — The Black Eyed Peas charity concert that attracted tens of thousands of giddy fans to Central Park and Sting's 25th anniversary and 60th birthday concert at the Beacon Theatre raised more than $7 million for the poverty-fighting Robin Hood Foundation, the organization announced Monday.
With an audience of 60,000, the Black Eyed Peas' Friday night show was the largest charity concert ever held on the Great Lawn, Robin Hood officials said. The concert was rescheduled months after a storm forced it to be called it off the first time.
The funds came from VIP tickets to the otherwise-free Central Park concert, along with donations made via texts from the Great Lawn. Robin Hood also raised money through ticket sales from the Saturday night show for Sting, which featured Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Rufus Wainwright and Billy Joel, among others.
The money will go toward food pantries, homeless shelters, health clinics and job training for needy New Yorkers across the city, Robin Hood officials said.
"It's incredibly gratifying to see New Yorkers come together during difficult times to help their neighbors in need," David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood, said in a statement.
"The Black Eyed Peas and Sting have a long history of giving back to their communities and we're truly honored that they've chosen to help the 1.8 million New Yorkers living in poverty through Robin Hood; we hope to do them proud."
The Black Eyed Peas have teamed up with Robin Hood to open three Peapod Academies in New York City over the coming years, to provide music and arts education, including music engineering, sound mixing and video editing, to disadvantaged youth.
The Robin Hood-funded KIPP NYC College Prep High School, currently under construction in the South Bronx and set to open in 2013, will have a plaque naming the music room in Sting's honor.