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Wednesday
Apr042012

Sting, Elton, James Taylor & Meryl Streep Sing the Movies at Rainforest Benefit in NYC

Kevin Mazur/WireImageBack in 1985, Sting and Meryl Streep appeared in a movie together called Plenty. Tuesday night in New York City, they were back together again -- only this time, they were onstage at Carnegie Hall, and there was plenty of singing going on.

The occasion was the biennial Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert, which Sting and his wife Trudie Styler have been staging since 1991.  Every two years, the couple round up their famous friends for a star-studded show to raise money to preserve and protect the world's rainforests, as well as the indigenous people who live there. 

This year, the theme of the evening was Songs from the Silver Screen, and the guest list included Streep, as well as Elton John, James Taylor, Bruno Mars, Jennifer Hudson, country stars Vince Gill and Rosanne Cash and opera star Bryn Terfel.  Even 21 Jump Street star and dancer Channing Tatum and his actress/dancer wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum were on hand, to lend their sexy dancing skills to some of the numbers.

The evening kicked off with Streep, Sting, Elton and James Taylor taking the stage dressed, respectively, as Dorothy, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.  They all performed "If I Only Had a Brain," but that wasn't the only Wizard of Oz number of the night -- James also sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The stars sang separately and together all night long, with some interesting pairings, including Elton John and Bruno Mars duetting on "Unchained Melody" and Sting and Streep singing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off."  A highlight was Elton's hilarious take on "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," which was part what he called his "annual attempt to humiliate myself."  During the performance, Channing Tatum, wearing a vest with no shirt, came out and hung glistening baubles around Elton's neck, and did some dirty dancing as well.

At the end of the evening, the entire cast gathered onstage for the big finale, the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Here's the set list from the evening:

Elton, Sting, James Taylor, Meryl Streep: "If I Only Had a Brain"
James Taylor: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Vince Gill: "I Can't Stop Loving You"
Vince Gill & Rita Wilson: "All I Have to Do Is Dream"
Bryn Terfel: "The Impossible Dream"
Elton John: "Moon River"
Rosanne Cash: "Ode to Billie Joe"
Bruno Mars & Elton John: "Unchained Melody"
Meryl Streep & Sting: "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
James Taylor: "Ol Man River"
Sting: "Singing in the Rain"
Jennifer Hudson: "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
Meryl Streep: "When You Wish Upon a Star"
Bryn Terfel: "Roxanne"
Sting: "Suicide Is Painless (Theme from M*A*S*H)
Rosanne Cash: "Everybody's Talkin'"
James Taylor: "Shall We Dance"
Elton John: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"
Vince Gill: "Pretty Woman"
Jennifer Hudson: "The Weight"
Sting: "Be Bop a Lula"
Elton John: "Rock Around the Clock"
Bruno Mars: "Jailhouse Rock"
Finale: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio