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Stars join in relief

H'wood comes to the rescue

Celeb tsunami benefits have picked up momentum now that showbiz is back to business as usual following the annual holiday slowdown.

On Wednesday, Bradley Whitford and wife Jane Kaczmarek said a post-Golden Globes auction for their Clothes Off Our Back charity would benefit UNICEF’s tsunami disaster relief fund, while Sheryl Crow surfaced as a performer at NBC’s still-developing benefit Jan. 15. Willie Nelson, meanwhile, is set to headline Sunday’s Austin fund-raiser, with Patty Griffin and Joe Ely also on the concert bill.

A charity concert is being planned for the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. U.K. singers Cliff Richard and Boy George will be among those lending their voices to the tune “Grief Never Grows Old.”

In Asia, Jackie Chan and singer Andy Lau are remaking “We Are the World,” to raise monies for tsunami victims.

Germany has already aired two telethons for disaster relief. Pubcaster ZDF’s primetime telethon Tuesday featured a live musical perf by Die Toten Hosen. It raised a record L40.6 million ($53.8 million). Sat. 1’s telethon the day before drummed up $14.6 million.

Meanwhile, showbizzers such as Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg have dug into their pockets, writing big checks for relief efforts by orgs such as the American Red Cross, Save the Children, CARE and Oxfam. On Wednesday, DreamWorks pledged to match employee donations 100%, joining congloms such as News Corp. and NBC U parent GE, who previously ponied up $1 million each.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. promised $250,000 and Daily Variety parent Reed Elsevier weighed in with an initial pledge of $100,000.

(Ed Meza in Berlin and wire stories contributed to this report.)

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