CHICAGO (RNN) - Didn't score a seat to the hottest ticket in TV?
No worries. The surprises Oprah wanted to keep under wraps until her final few shows air were live tweeted Tuesday by the thousands who filled the seats at Chicago's United Center.
Oprah welcomed celebrity guests that were a surprise even to her.
The queen of daytime TV famously does not like surprises. But she surrendered control to her producers, who put together a star-packed extravaganza that made the city of Chicago forget (briefly) that the Bulls were in the playoffs.
One of the first surprises was a moving duet of the iconic song, "Over the Rainbow," sung by Josh Groban and Patti LaBelle.
Delivering on a promise to have the biggest stars present, Tom Hanks, Dakota Fanning, Halle Berry and Madonna were among the many celebrities to drop by and share their memories of 25 years of groundbreaking shows.
Beyonce took the stage, bringing the crowd to their feet with "Girls Who Run the World." The singer wanted to do another take, and ended up performing a second time for the cameras.
"I don't know what Beyonce [is] recruiting for, but I'm signing up," Hanks told the crowd after the performance.
Through the years, philanthropy and giving back have been hallmarks of Oprah's legacy. In that spirit, R&B singer John Legend appeared via satellite, pledging to build 25 libraries across the country with the support of retailer Target.
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer announced that 25,000 trees would be planted in Winfrey's honor.
Country group Rascal Flatts wrapped up taping of the first of two finale shows with a live performance of "I Won't Let Go." Audience members wore ring-like lights on their fingers to illuminate the darkened arena.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith kicked off the taping of the second show, joined by Chicago hometown hero Michael Jordan.
"I feel the energy. It feels like I'm playing a game," the legendary former Chicago Bull said.
Actor Jamie Foxx then surprised Winfrey, serenading her with "Isn't She Lovely?" with the help of Stevie Wonder.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, in a standup routine, said the Oprah Show has made an impact on men, too.
"Tonight, to be here at the United Center, not at a Bulls game, clearly explains how we've been trained," he quipped.
The United Center is usually the home of the Chicago Bulls basketball team and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.
Maria Shriver was there to celebrate three decades of friendship with Winfrey. The appearance was the same day that husband Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed to the LA Times that he fathered a child 10 years ago with a member of their household staff.
"You have given me love, support, wisdom and most of all, the truth," Shriver told her, according to the Associated Press.
In perhaps the most unlikely song-and-dance quartet of the night, Rosie O'Donnell, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Nate Berkus performed "Fever."
Not to be outdone, Kristen Chenoweth, from the original "Wicked" cast, performed "For Good" from the hit Broadway soundtrack.
Poet Maya Angelou composed an original piece for Winfrey, reading it to the accompaniment of artist Alicia Keys on the piano.
Aretha Franklin took the crowd to church with a rendition of "Amazing Grace." Franklin has largely been out of the public eye since a health scare last year forced her to cancel several concerts. She has yet to disclose the nature of her illness.
The night wrapped with the entire cast of celebrities singing "Oh Happy Day" with R&B singer Usher.
The star-studded tribute, "A Farewell Spectacular," airs May 23 and 24. Oprah's final show airs May 25.
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