*Despite consistent rain, some 60,000 fans of the Black Eyed Peas came out for their free Central Park concert – a gig that had been cancelled once before due to lightning.
“Lightning didn’t strike twice!” Fergie yelled to the crowd Friday night. BEP partnered with Chase Bank and the Robin Hood Foundation in an effort to help end poverty in NYC. [Scroll down to watch highlights.]
“Robin Hood’s mission is simple,” said David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. “Fight poverty in NYC. This is the toughest economic time in the 23-year history of our organization.”
But by night’s end, frontman will.i.am made an announcement that proved the generosity of the group’s fans wasn’t hindered by the poor economy. Fundraisers pledged money through text messages, and a total of $4 million was donated by the end of the night.
After the group performed several of their hits, will.i.am took to the DJ booth in a silver suit and spun remixes of “Sweet Dreams” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – to which fans responded by singing along, dancing, and throwing thousands of Robin Hood green glow sticks into the air.
Then—as if mother nature was making an attempt to rain on their parade—the raindrops began to fall. A few in the crowd took their cue to leave the park, while others opened up their umbrellas or put on ponchos—while others still fully embraced the change in weather, dancing and splashing in puddles.
Will.i.am began chanting, “Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bit of rain,” and the crowd listened as he told them the story behind how, together, they had raised $4 million for the Robin Hood foundation. “Philanthropy is the fabric of the Black Eyed Peas,” he said.