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It will be raining philanthropic celebrities on Wednesday night when American Idol Gives Back airs on the Fox Network. The “star clouds” are set to burst with a gala of music, fun, appearances, and surprises – all in the name of charity.

Idol host Ryan Seacrest will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which was taped in front of a lively audience at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night, and producers expect this year’s event to raise over $100 million for charity.

“Tonight isn’t just about raising money,” said Brad Pitt, one of the many guests to attend the gala. “Sometimes, to help people, we’ve got to travel outside of our comfort zone to really understand another situation.”

Pitt’s Make It Right campaign, which he launched to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, is one of many good causes to benefit from the event, which last year netted over $76 million for charity. Other organizations to benefit this year include the Global Fund, Malaria No More, the Children's Health Fund, Save the Children, and the Children's Defense Fund.

“It’s not about self-promoting,” said former Idol winner Carrie Underwood, who will perform on the show. “It’s not about singing your latest single. It’s not about trying to be the most downloaded whatever on iTunes. It’s all about getting people to call in and do something.”

Viewers of the show on Wednesday can expect performances by Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Miley Cyrus, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, and Sheila E., as well as a surprise duet between Fergie and Heart. The show will also be sprinkled with appearances from Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Peyton and Eli Manning, and Reese Witherspoon, and pre-taped messages from David and Victoria Beckham, Kiefer Sutherland, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama will also be shown.

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