NEW YORK – While the floodwaters slowly recede in New Orleans, celebrity activism is still going strong.
The most notable stars connected with the Gulf Coast tragedy have been New Orleans-area natives
Harry Connick Jr., Ellen DeGeneres and Master P. But many other celebs have contributed — and more are joining the act.
Some have turned their interest to the housing needs that now face many of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Connick and jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis (search) were named honorary chairs of Habitat for Humanity's "Operation Home Delivery," a long-term rebuilding plan for homeless families of the Gulf Coast.
Green Day, REM, John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Pearl Jam, Moby, the Beastie Boys and the Roots are among those who have joined with MoveOn.org to find housing for victims of the hurricane, specifically with http://www.hurricanhousing.org.
"As a band, we felt that promoting the service is essential — literally a matter of life and death," said Michael Stipe of REM in a statement.
One of New Orleans' most iconic natives, legendary bluesman and boogie woogie pianist Dr. John said in a statement: "If anybody in the government would've done something about the disappearing wetlands for the past 50 years, then this probably wouldn't have been as bad."
"It makes me think of what my friend Rev. Goat just told me, 'Let me say this before it goes any further, New Orleans didn't die of natural causes, she was murdered.'"
Kanye West, who drew headlines for his anti-Bush, race-charged comments on a NBC telethon Friday, received support from other celebrities.
"I'm not a fan of (President Bush), so I let out a big cheer (over West's comments)," Matt Damon told syndicated entertainment show "Access Hollywood." "So this guy with his moment on live TV made a statement that hopefully, now Bush will come out and address (the issue)."
Rapper David Banner, who will hold a benefit concert Sept. 17 in Atlanta through his "Heal the Hood" foundation, has also come to West's defense.
"I'm glad Kanye said what he said on NBC," Banner says in the upcoming issue of Ozone magazine. "The President never gave a damn about black folks."
Other relief efforts:
Barry Manilow will duplicate every dollar donated through the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, with the fund also adding a dollar, turning $1 into $3.
A relief fund with an initial donation of $1 million has been set up by the Recording Academy to help "music people" in need.
Montel Williams said he'll broadcast an hour-long episode of his syndicated talk show, "The Montel Williams Show," devoted to Hurricane Katrina on Sept. 12.
The Urban Television Network, partnering with the Oasis Foundation, said it would put on a national telethon, a concert series and other events.
Beginning Sept. 11, jazz musicians in Manhattan will hold "When the Saints Go Marching In," a weeklong effort to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund with shows in clubs throughout the city.
The MTV, VH1 and CMT special, "ReAct Now: Music and Relief," will air Saturday (8 p.m. ET). Scheduled performers include the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, the Neville Brothers and West.