Rock for the Rainforest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rock for the Rainforest is a biennial (formerly annual) benefit concert held by the Rainforest Foundation Fund and Rainforest Foundation US, hosted by the organizations' founders Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, since 1991. In addition to the annual flagship concert, Sting holds other concerts and hosts other types of events to benefit the Rainforest Foundation. In addition to Sting, regular performers at the event include Elton John, Billy Joel, and James Taylor.

The event holds the Guinness World Record for the largest environmental fundraising event.[1][2] By 1996, the concerts had raised over $6,000,000;[3] by 2000, more than $11,000,000;[4] by 2004, more than $20,000,000.[5] Money is raised through corporate sponsorships, individual and group ticket sales, and related events like a benefit dinner and silent auction.

The event, which so far has always been held at Carnegie Hall in Midtown Manhattan, is a "spring tradition in New York"[3] and a "fixture on the Manhattan charity circuit."[6] At the 1997 and 2006 events, the Empire State Building was lighted green on the night of the concert.[7][8]

The concert funds projects that benefit the indigenous peoples of the world's rainforests. The Rainforest Foundation Fund supports projects by three independent national organizations: Rainforest Foundation Norway, Rainforest Foundation US, and Rainforest Foundation UK. Kayapo chief Raoni delivered a ten-minute speech in his native language at the first concert, which was subsequently translated into English for the audience.[9]

List of events[edit]

Year Location Funds raised Performers
1991 Carnegie Hall $250,000 Sting, Elton John, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil[10][9]
1992 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, Natalie Cole, Don Henley and James Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg[11]
1993 Carnegie Hall $800,000 Sting, James Taylor, George Michael, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Herb Alpert, and Dustin Hoffman[12]
1994 Carnegie Hall $1,100,000 Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Whitney Houston, Larry Adler, Branford Marsalis, Aaron Neville, Luciano Pavarotti, Tammy Wynette, Houston, and Michael Kamen[13][14]
1995 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Jon Bon Jovi, Jessye Norman, Geoffrey Oryema, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen[15]
1996 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, Don Henley, James Taylor, Diana Ross, Robin Williams, Branford Marsalis[3]
1997 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin and Stevie Wonder[7]
1998 Carnegie Hall Sting, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, Elton John, Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack, Wynonna Judd, and Tsidii Leloka[16]
1999 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ricky Martin and Bill Murray, Sandra Bernhard, Charles Aznavour[17]
2000 Carnegie Hall $2,500,000 Sting, Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin, James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel, Gladys Knight, Percy Sledge, Macy Gray, Sam Moore and The Impressions, Tom Jones, and Martha Reeves[18][19][4]
2002 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Nina Simone, Lulu, Anoushka Shankar, Patti LaBelle, Jeff Beck, Wynonna Judd, Smokey Robinson, Ravi Shankar, Rebekah Del Rio [20]
2004 Carnegie Hall Sting, James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bette Midler,[Little Jimmy Scott] Michael J. Fox, Antonio Banderas, and Melanie Griffith[21]
2006 Carnegie Hall $2,300,000 Sting, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Lenny Kravitz, and Sheryl Crow[8]
2008 Carnegie Hall $2,000,000 Sting, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Chris Botti, Feist, Roberto Alagna, Natalie Clein[22]
2010 Carnegie Hall $3,000,000 Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Mary J. Blige, Debbie Harry, Shirley Bassey, Nile Rodgers and Chic[23][24]
2014 Carnegie Hall Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Vince Gill, Rita Wilson, Bryn Terfel, Rosanne Cash, Bruno Mars, Jennifer Hudson[25]
2016 Carnegie Hall Sting, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Idina Menzel, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love. Jennifer Nettles[26]


  1. ^ Guinness Media, Inc. 1999. Guinness 2000 Book of Records: Millennium Edition. "The Biggest Environmental Fundraising Event"
  2. ^ Rob Dimery and Peter Watts. 2002. Guinness World Records 2003. p. 22. "Largest Environmental Fundraising Event"
  3. ^ a b c David Hinckley. April 8, 1996. "Carnegie Sting-Along to Save Rainforest." Daily News (New York). p. 31.
  4. ^ a b David Hinckley. April 13, 2000. "Stars Rain Down on Eco-Benefit." Daily News (New York). p. 54.
  5. ^ U.S. Newswire. August 4, 2004. "American Screenwriters Association Honors Sting with David Angell Humanitarian Award."
  6. ^ Adam Higginbotham. August 4, 2002. "Truly Trudie." The Observer.
  7. ^ a b Phoebe Hoban. May 4, 1997. "Rock's Green Party." The New York Times. p. 49.
  8. ^ a b Jonathan Cohen. March 29, 2006. "Sting sets Rainforest date, Euro tour support." VNU Entertainment News Wire.
  9. ^ a b Melinda Newman. March 23, 1991. "Sting Sings For Rain Forest; Benefit With Jobim Raises $ 250,000." Billboard. p. 33.
  10. ^ Glenn Kenny. March 22, 1991. "Planet Rock." Entertainment Weekly.
  11. ^ The New York Times. March 15, 1992. "A Week of Masks, Hats, Music and Dance." p. 48.
  12. ^ Press Association. March 2, 1993. "Sting Sings."
  13. ^ Melinda Newman. April 2, 1994. "Carnegie Hall Set For Benefit, Folk Festival." Billboard. p. 12.
  14. ^ Lea Saslav. April 11, 1994. "A shower of stars at rain forest benefit." USA Today.
  15. ^ Business Wire. March 29, 1995. "Rainforest Foundation International announces sixth annual Carnegie Hall benefit."
  16. ^ George Rush and Joanna Molloy. April 29, 1998. "Faces Were Red, Rosie was Blue at Big Benefit." Daily News (New York).
  17. ^ Stephen Schaefer. April 19, 1999. "Sting, John wedded to rescuing rain forests." USA Today. p. 2D.
  18. ^ Christina Sarceno. April 15, 2000. "All-Stars Rock for the Rainforest[dead link]." Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ Verena Dobnik. April 14, 2000. "Carnegie Hall rocks for the rainforest - with musical stars." Associated Press.
  20. ^ Barry A. Jeckell. February 26, 2002. "Sting, Elton, Taylor rock for rainforests." BPI Entertainment Newswire.
  21. ^ Serena Kappes. April 16, 2004. "Planet Rock." People.
  22. ^ PR Newswire. March 26, 2008. "Trudie Styler and Sting's Rainforest Foundation Fund's 'Some Kinda Legacy' Benefit Concert Celebrates 15th Performance May 8th at Carnegie Hall."
  23. ^ The Rock 102. 2010. "Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Sting & Lady Gaga Rock for the Rainforest at New York's Carnegie Hall."
  24. ^ David J. Prince. May 14, 2010. "Springsteen joines Gaga, John at benefit." VNU Entertainment News Wire (Online).
  25. ^ April 4, 2012. "[1]." CBS Local.
  26. ^ December 2, 2016. "[2]." Carnegie Hall.