While Kanye West isn’t set to appear on Friday’s “Hope For Haiti” telethon, the outspoken rapper hasn’t been barred from the show, despite online rumors.
“Not true,” a highly reputable source told Access Hollywood, explaining that Kanye had simply not necessarily come forward to join the broadcast. “[The] telethon organizers took the first people to come to us… on the phone bank and in the singers and presenters.”
A rep for MTV told Access that Kanye was, in fact, invited.
”[It’s] completely untrue — he was absolutely invited,” the rep said.
And a source close to Kanye told Access that the star was approached, but is unable to participate.
“The report is absolutely false. MTV talent executives involved with booking the telethon contacted Kanye’s management and label about having him perform,” the source told Access. “Unfortunately, he is unavailable and regrettably unable to participate.”
Kanye’s last telethon appearance, when he appeared on NBC to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005, found the rapper standing next to a dumb-founded Mike Myers while making the infamous remark, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” The hip-hop star has stayed out of the public eye since his latest televised disruption — interrupting Taylor Swift’s Best Female Video acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards last fall.
Stars who will be participating at Friday’s telethon include freshly announced performers Madonna and Beyonce and stars including President Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali, Robert Pattinson, Tom Hanks and more.
Previously announced performers in the all-star lineup include Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Sting, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Coldplay, Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna.
The telethon airs on a number of networks and online and mobile platforms at 8 PM EST. Performances from the show will be available on iTunes, with proceeds going to charity.
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