Elton John Donates $1 Million to Australia Bushfire Victims: 'We Have to Fight'
The devastating fires have claimed at least 24 lives and destroyed over 12-million acres of land
On Tuesday, the legendary singer-songwriter announced to fans attending his concert at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, that he would be donating $1 million to relief efforts.
“We should all be in the awe of the work the firefighters are doing,” John, 72, told the crowd in a video captured by a fan and shared on Twitter. “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,” he continued. “Therefore tonight, I will be pledging $1 million dollars to support the bushfire relief fund.”
The “Rocket Man” singer concluded, “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. I love Australia so much. To those who have lost their homes, God bless, I hope that your lives will be repaired very, very soon.”
“Hi everyone. 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,” he wrote on Instagram. “Beyond appreciative to everyone around the world for their well wishes and donations. It really does make a difference, so dig deep! Love ya.”
Over the weekend Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban also donated $500,000 to Rural Fire Service, a rep for Kidman told PEOPLE. The couple hold Australia near and dear to their hearts as Urban was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia.
“Our family’s support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia. We are donating $500,000 to the Rural Fire Services who are all doing and giving so much right now,” Kidman shared on Instagram. The country singer also shared the same statement on Instagram.
Since September, at least 24 people have been killed, including 10 firefighters, according to Time. Over 12-million acres have been wiped out with hundreds of homes and buildings destroyed as the more than 130 fires continue to burn across the country — leaving thousands of people displaced. A seven-day state of emergency was declared on Dec. 23.
Just last week, ecologists from the University of Sydney announced that they believe almost half a billion animals have died. A recent fire on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia killed tens of thousands of koalas.