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Alicia Keys and Kanye West perform at Sandy relief concert

SOLD OUT SHOW: Kanye West and Alicia Keys

ALICIA KEYS and Kanye West were among the stars to grace the stage at yesterday's (Dec 12) relief concert for New Yorkers hit by Superstorm Sandy.

Through television, live streams, the radio and theater simulcasts, an estimated 2 billion people around the world were given the chance to experience the Empire State of Mind star live at the sold-out show.

Music and comedy royalty, such as Chris Rock, P Diddy and Beatles' star Paul McCartney, struck a defiant tone throughout the event, asking for help to rebuild a New York metropolitan area left devastated by the November Hurricane.

"You can throw anything at us - terrorists, hurricanes. You can take away our giant sodas. It doesn't matter. Were coming back stronger every time," comedian Jon Stewart told the crowd gathered at Madison Square Garden.

Kanye West told the audience that he had friends displaced by Sandy who were staying at his house, before getting the crowd swaying with a version of hit song Gold Digger.

He ended his set by shouting, "I need you right now!"

But it was Keys who brought the star-studded show to an end at 1:19 am, nearly six hours after Bruce Springsteen opened the show with Land of Hope and Dreams.

The New York native New York native asked the audience to hold their mobile phones high while she sang No One, triggering a sea of light.

The sold-out 12-12-12 concert was being shown on 37 television stations in the United States and more than 200 others worldwide. It was to be streamed on 30 websites, including YouTube and Yahoo, and played on radio stations. Theaters, including 27 in the New York region and dozens more elsewhere, were showing it live.

More than $30million was raised through ticket sales alone. Proceeds from the show will be distributed through the Robin Hood Foundation.

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