Sir Elton John has received many standing ovations during his long career, but the roar of appreciation he got from the crowd at his Sydney concert last Tuesday was not for a rendition of one his pop hits. The music legend and unabashed Aussie-phile announced that he would be donating $1 million to the bushfire relief fund.
In his address to the audience, he spoke of his admiration for the firefighters and volunteers, and his sorrow for people who have lost their lives and homes. He also expressed sadness over the devastation to wildlife and their habitats.
“To see what is happening here breaks my heart, and so we have to come together, and we have to fight,” he said. “This is my bit towards it, and I love Australia so much. To those who have lost their homes, God bless, I hope that your life will be repaired very, very soon. I want to say thank you, Australia again, and God bless.”
Sir Elton is among a slew of celebrities who are opening up their purses and pulling out large wads of money.
On her popular TV show recently, Ellen DeGeneres spoke of her love for all things Australian, including her wife, Portia de Rossi.
“A few years ago I got to see how beautiful Australia is in person, we got to take our show there, and I fell in love with the country and with the people,” she said.”Right now, Australia needs our help. Wildfires have been burning for four months with record-breaking heat, and the winds are so strong it’s getting worse.”
She then called for people to donate to the GoFundMe campaign she has set up with a targeted amount of $5 million.
Pink tweeted her reaction to the fires, adding that she would be donating $500,000 to the relief effort and also listing donation links for each Australian state.
US rapper, Lizzo, gave hands on support; she took time out from her Australian tour to visit a Melbourne foodbank, put on a high viz vest and rubber gloves and help pack hampers.
Home grown celebrities have also given impressive sums. Chris Hemsworth released a video appeal announcing he would be donating $1 million. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban shared their sympathy on Instagram, promising $500,000 to firefighters.
Kylie Minogue and her family are donating $500,000.
“Big or small, from near or far, any support will help those affected by the devastating bushfires,” she said.