Harvey benefit: $44 million and counting

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A benefit for victims of Hurricane Harvey simulcast on several networks including CBS has raised at least $44 million and donations are still coming in.

The performers held a news conference before the concert. (Photo by Julie Hays)

The Hand in Hand benefit Tuesday night featured a number of celebrities and looked in live on a concert in San Antonio headlined by Texan George Strait, who lives in San Antonio, but says he has many friends and family in the Rockport area.

“For me just watching that storm head directly for Rockport I was going ‘no way,’” Strait said.

“And it just kept coming and coming and it just wrecked the place.”

Strait said he plans to visit the Rockport area sometime later this week, but didn’t want to wait to help an area near and dear to his heart.

So, the man known as the “king of country music” called on his celebrity friends to organize the benefit concert, which aired as part of the nationwide telethon Tuesday night.

Strait appeared alongside singers Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett, all performers from Texas with the exception of Stapleton, who Strait said is an honorary Texan.

“With efforts like this, we're going to get hose business up and running which really needs to happen because it's such a vacation spot and those people depend on the tourists to make their living and that's why I wanted to come,” Strait said.

Lambert said she went to Houston four days after Harvey hit to help rescue animals as part of her foundation MuttNation and witnessed the devastation firsthand.

“I’m proud to be here,” Lambert said. “Texans are very proud, as we all know, but we really come together in hard times.

“We’re here to help them,” Strait said.