Elton John Pledges $1 Million To Australian Bushfire Crisis
Sir Elton John has pledged AUD $1 million (£523,000 / US $687,000) of his money to those affected by the Australian bushfires, having told the crowd at his concert in Sydney on Tuesday in a heartfelt speech about the 'magnificent' country.
Praising the work of the firefighters battling the unrelenting fires, the 72-year-old singer urged people to 'come together' and fight for Australia, saying the impact of the blaze was on a 'biblical scale of heartbreaking'.
Speaking from behind his piano at the Qudos Bank Arena, John revealed he would be donating a large sum of money to help those affected.
He said: "You should all be in awe of the work the firefighters are doing.
"This is a magnificent country. To see what is happening here breaks my heart, so we have to come together. We have to fight.
"I love Australia so much."
He continued: "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.
"The animals... a loss of their habitat, which frankly is on a biblical scale of heartbreaking."
He added: "Therefore tonight, I will be pledging $1million."
Many celebs are also coming forward to help raise money, with actor Chris Hemsworth saying he and his family have pledged AUD $1 million (£523,000 / US $687,000).
He wrote on Instagram: "Like you, I want to support the fight against the bushfires here in Australia. My family and I are contributing a million dollars.
"Hopefully you guys can chip in too. Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated.
"In my bio I've added links to support the fire fighters, organisations and charities who are working flat out to provide support and relief during this devastating and challenging time.
"Beyond appreciative to everyone around the world for their well wishes and donations. It really does make a difference, so dig deep!"
Hemsworth provided a link directing people to donate towards the Australian Red Cross, the St Vincent de Paul Society, World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Warriors, New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue, South Australian Country Fire Service, Victorian Country Fire Authority, Tasmanian Fire Service, Western Australia Fire and Emergency Services and the Community Enterprise Foundation.
He also provided a link to comedian Celeste Barber's Facebook fundraiser for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund, which has so far raised more than AUD $41m (£21m / US $28m).
Meanwhile, billionaire casino mogul James Packer has contributed one of the biggest sums of money towards the bushfire crisis.
On behalf of the Packer family and Crown Resorts Foundation, he has donated a whopping AUD $5m (£2.6m / US $3.4m) to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service - in addition to the $1m each year for five years that the group pledged in November.
Other massive donations include AUD $500,000 (£262,000 / US $343,000) from Aussie legends Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban, with other big name celebrities like Selena Gomez and P!nk also parting with some of their money to help.
All the comes on top of the federal government's AUD $2 billion (£1bn / US $1.4bn) funding package that will directly help those affected by the bushfires.
Featured Image Credit: PA