The US network NBC said its benefit concert for superstorm Sandy victims drew nearly US$23 million in donations to the American Red Cross. Friday's hour-long telethon included performances by artists native to the areas hardest-hit by Sandy, including New Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel, of New York's Long Island. Others who took part in the special included Sting, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey and Jon Stewart. The telethon's mood was sombre but hopeful, from Aguilera's Beautiful to Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer . Bon Jovi had to cut short a tour of Britain to return to his home state. "I need to be with my people. Thankfully, my family are safe," he told Britain's Daily Mail . Pledges made by phone and online totalled US$22.9 million.