The star-studded lineup for the 2012 Rainforest Fund Gala has been announced, and just like previous years, it features a vast array of talented performers and celebrity guests. 


Those expected to entertain include Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Katharine McPhee, Bryn Terfel, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, and some as-yet unnamed surprise guests. Last year's finale number famously featured Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Sting, Blondie's Deborah Harry and Shirley Bassey of James Bond fame singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."


The fund was started in 1989 by Sting and his wife, Trudi Styler, as a means to assist indigenous rain forest peoples in defending their rights and preserving their culture and lands against development and corporate interests. Together with its partner organizations, TRF has funded projects that have protected a total of 28 million acres of forest in 20 different rain forest countries around the globe.


"Sting and I founded the Rainforest Fund after seeing with our own eyes the destruction of one of the world's most precious resources," Styler said. "We're so thankful that artists like Elton John, James Taylor and the many others who are doing their part to support the Rainforest Fund in its quest to raise awareness of the global environmental crisis we're facing. If we all take action, we can help save the planet and prevent further harm to the rain forests and indigenous people who live there."


Check out video of last year's finale below. The Rainforest Fund benefit concert will be held on April 3, 2012.


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Meryl Streep, Elton John headline Rainforest Fund Gala
Annual fundraiser to feature additional performances by Sting, James Taylor and others.