Tamron Hall moderates the Television Academy's first member event in Atlanta.A Conversation with Tyler Perry at the Woodruff Arts Center on Thursday, May 4, 2017 Pictuer: AP

Tyler Perry has pledged R12 million to Hurricane Harvey relief funds, with R3.2m of the sum set to be donated to controversial pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, who the actor has defended.

The 47-year-old actor has pledged the huge sum after the tropical storm ripped through parts of Texas, killing 44 people and destroying 100,000 homes, and he insists his gesture is about "helping people" rather than trying to look good. 

WATCH: Chris Brown's $100k Hurricane Harvey pledge

He said: "I'm giving $1 million and I'm not saying that boastfully so somebody can say, 'Tyler gave $1 million.' That's not what this is about at all, this is about helping people. 

"I've been burned in the past. If you want to give make sure you're giving to people who are giving the monies to the people who need it." 

Tyler is donating R6.4m to some unnamed charities, R3.2 to Beyonce's pastor Rudy Rasmus' Bread of Life Hurricane Relief Fund, and another R3.2m to Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church to help with the relief effort in Houston. 

Joel has come under fire for not opening up his huge church earlier to help shelter those whose homes have been damaged by the natural disaster, but Tyler has defended him and wife Victoria, insisting they are "amazing people". 

Speaking in a Facebook video, he added: "I was trying to find the right charities to donate to. I was looking for people I can trust, people that I know are going to do the right thing. 

"I know there has been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church. Let me tell you something, Joel and Victoria are amazing people. 

"There is no way they would lock people out of the church. There were some safety concerns. I spoke to them on the phone, it all made perfect sense to me."

Tyler is not the only star to have pledged R13 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. 

Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock have donated the sum, and Ellen DeGeneres teamed up with Walmart to give the same amount. 

What's more, Miley Cyrus has donated R6.4m to the cause, and admitted she was delighted to be able to help. 

She said: "I'm really happy to help in whatever way I can."