The “Rise Up New York!” telethon benefit might not have been broadcast to every nook and cranny across the US last night, May 11, but, in typical New York fashion, every New Yorker, was “spreading the news” with chutzpah that would have made Frank Sinatra proud. More than world-class talent showed up to sing their hearts out. Citizens across America offered their hearts and opened their pocketbooks for Robin Hood Relief and the many New York lives impacted by COVID-19.

The tallies were likely still being counted this morning, but as People magazine and other sources reported today, May 12, the total counted, for “Rise Up New York!

” last night, left host Tina Fey with tears of gratitude. The coronavirus pandemic has come at a tremendous cost, especially to New York, but New Yorkers and givers across the globe still have never forgotten how to pay goodness forward.

‘Rise Up New York!’ makes Tina Fey mistrust her eyes

Tina Fey’s roots take the female comic genius back to upper Pennsylvania, but, for all intents and purposes, she's always been a proud New York girl, at heart. The “Bossypants” author will officially celebrate her 50th birthday next Monday, May 18. Call it an early birthday present or simply the blessing of giving hearts, but Tina Fey was in disbelief when she looked at the telethon total at the close of “Rise Up New York!”

Is this real?” Fey questioned the producers upon seeing the figure she was to read at the end of the night.

“Okay, $115 million. We did this. You did this. We are difference makers. $115 million! What a great day for New York!”

It's no secret that Tina Fey has a wide-open heart for New York. There's a reason why the beloved “Saturday Night Live” alum never needs to be begged to return for a “Live from New York….” Introduction. The "Rise Up New York!" telethon was streamed live from the same studio stage as Tina Fey's “30 Rock” series, and the support for the Big Apple, and its grit and endless giving in the wake of the coronavirus siege, proved to be rock solid.

Never even trying to choke back her emotion, Tina Fey continued. “Thank you to everyone who gave, and gave, and gave from all over the world!” She kept pitching for the heart of her adopted home, too, asking any viewers to donate to “Rise Up New York!” through These festivities were not on any prime time lineup of TV Shows, but they made a lifelong difference in many lives.

“We've got so much more to do,” the comedienne concluded, still full of emotion.

The big names had big virtual moments for ‘Rise Up New York!’

Some brilliant talents turned up to help Tina Fey and the many people in all kinds of need under the surge of COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo has hope that his city may be just at the very beginning of the downside curve, and superlative artists sang out from their self quarantined situations in support of their city and beyond.

Mariah Carey kicked off “Rise Up New York!” with a lovely, stripped-down medley of “Through the Rain” and “Make It Happen,” harkening back to the early 90s. Broadway's best mounted up with Lin Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel, Ben Platt, and more, lending as much spirit as anyone can muster from their separate rooms.

Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, and the Beastie Boys shared the bill on “Rise Up New York!” along with locals like Mayor Bill de Blasio, and many more performers and friends. Tender hearts were more than willing to make appeals.

Jennifer Lopez spoke as “Jenny from the Block” in saying: “New York, I know your strength. We're going to get through this, but we need to take care of all our neighbors, including our children. Robert DeNiro talked directly to the disease and any naysayers. “You can take your best shot, but you cannot break our spirit,” echoed the acclaimed “Taxi Driver” actor to inspire “Rise Up New York!”

Billy Joel was the perfect closer to ‘Rise Up New York!’

Billy Joel has encapsulated the New York soul and spirit across his entire catalog of unforgettable classics.

Even without listening to “New York State of Mind,” every listener hears New York in every word Billy Joel sings or says. His song had to be the last musical memory of “Rise Up New York!

Joel played at his piano to empty seats under current crowd restrictions, but as Anthony Mason of CBS noted this morning, his face was filling the lighted banners in Times Square. The rendition of “Miami 2017” has never been more soulful. At 71, Billy’s tones and key-tickling don’t miss a beat, and the man who sells out Madison Square Garden with habitual harmonies had another surprise in store.

The lights of the Empire State Building beautifully synchronized, in dazzling rhythm and color, to the chorus of “I saw the lights go out on Broadway…” As the song closes, Billy Joel admonishes: “Stay strong, New York.

Please wear a mask—that way you won’t catch any sh*@ from anybody.”

The paraphrase of Billy Joel’s usual show-closing advice seemed absolutely apropos forRise Up New York!” and donors everywhere reciprocated in appreciation. No matter what the virus takes, giving hearts cannot be vanquished.