For the first time since 2013, the five living former presidents appeared together at a concert Saturday night to raise money for hurricane victims.
Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush were on stage in College Station, Texas, to try to unite the country after the recent storms.
The concert at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena was to raise money for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Texas A&M is home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. He has a form of Parkinson’s disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event.
Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert. She tweeted: “Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe. #OneAmericaAppeal”
The event also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer “Soul Man” Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Country music singer Lee Greenwood was the concert’s emcee.
President Trump was not in Texas for the event, but as The Associated Press reports:
Trump recorded a video greeting that avoids his past criticism of the former presidents and called them “some of America’s finest public servants.”
“This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another,” Trump said in the message.”
The last time the five former presidents were together was in 2013 at the dedication of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas.
The concert at Texas A&M is not the first time former presidents have raised money for disaster relief.
In 2004, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton worked together to raise money after the tsunami in South Asia, and again the following year after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2011, Clinton and George W. Bush requested donations after Haiti’s earthquake.
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for George H.W. Bush, says the hurricane relief effort has raised at least $31 million since it began Sept. 7.
A website accepting donations, OneAmericaAppeal.org, was created with 100 percent of proceeds pledged to hurricane relief.