A star-studded benefit concert for American presidential wannabe John Kerry raised more than $7 million (GBP3.9 million) in New York last night (08JUL04).

Celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, PAUL NEWMAN and Jessica Lange thrilled Kerry and his running mate John Edwards at Radio City Music Hall with cutting remarks about the Democrats' opponent President GEORGE W Bush.

Newman and Lange turned the light-hearted evening serious by insisting the current US President has to go in the November (04) election.

Actress Lange asked the crowd, "Are we going to continue to follow a self-serving regime of deceit, hypocrisy and belligerence?

"Defend America. Defeat Bush."

Meanwhile, Newman hammered Bush's tax cuts for being "borderline criminal", adding, "There is serious and dangerous stuff out there and something's got to change."

Ticket prices for the sold out concert started at $250 (GBP140). A similar event in Los Angeles last month (JUN04), which featured Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, raised $5 million (GBP2.7 million) for the campaign.

09/07/2004 19:27