'American Idol', the popular US television talent show, raised over $30m for the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History last night.

In a prerecorded segment for the 'Idol Gives Back' show, U2's Bono - a leading spokesman for ONE - said "people say you can't be the generation that ends brutal, stupid poverty, but we can and we will."

The six 'Idol' contestants closed the programme with the Bono and Dave Stewart-penned 'American Prayer', a song that they wrote about the AIDS emergency in Africa.

The show's contestants received more than 70 million votes and each vote cast by text or telephone resulted in a donation to charities by Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T, the corporate sponsors of 'American Idol'.

Viewers were also invited to phone in donations.