Elton John has pledged $1 million to the Australian bushfire relief fund while performing at a concert in Sydney.
Since September last year, bushfires have taken the lives of at least 25 people and more than a billion animals. In New South Wales (NSW), an area particularly afflicted by infernos, 1,588 homes have been destroyed and a further 653 damaged.
The singer-songwriter addressed the crowd during a performance at Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park, saying he was in awe of the country’s firefighters and that the widespread devastation is heartbreaking.
After announcing he would donate $1 million to the bushfire disaster relief fund, John was reportedly met with a standing ovation from the crowd.
As per nine.com.au, John told the attending crowd:
We should all be in the awe of the work the firefighters are doing. There are people out there who have lost their lives trying to save homes, there are people who have lost their lives and their homes.
And lastly, there’s the plight of the animals, a loss of their habitat that frankly is on a biblical scale and it’s heartbreaking. Therefore tonight, I will be pledging $1 million dollars to support the bushfire relief fund.
As I said earlier, this is a magnificent country and I love it here so much and to see what is happening here breaks my heart, so we have to come together, we have to fight and this is my bit towards it, and I love Australia so much.
John then moved into a performance of Your Song, telling the audience in a heartfelt message: ‘To those who have lost their homes, God bless, I hope that your lives will be repaired very, very soon.’
The musician is the second celebrity in the past 24 hours to pledge a huge sum of money to the cause. Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, posted a video on Instagram saying he’d be donating $1 million as well as asking people to give what they could, as ‘every dollar counts’.
What we need is your support and your donations. Every dollar counts. That money goes directly to the firefighters, the people on the frontline, the people who have suffered, the communities that have taken a hit and who are in desperate need of our support.
There’s also the model who has raised $1 million by sending nudes, and the Irwin family have been doing their bit by treating as many injured animals as possible.
You can donate to the Australian Red Cross here. Alternatively, you can donate to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service here, or the Queensland Fire Service here.