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Music world reacts in horror as deadly Australian bushfire crisis continues

Australian firefighters
Australian firefighters attempt to tackle one of the blazes in New South Wales (Image credit: Kate Geraghty/The SMH/Fairfax Media - Getty)

Artists from across the music world have reacted with horror as deadly bushfires continue to engulf large parts of Australia.

The long-running crisis has been kindled due to drought and record high temperatures, leaving at least 24 people dead and destroying an estimated 60,000 sq km of forest and parks across the country, with potentially millions of animals now dead as a result.

And as the fires continue to rage, musicians have united to express their shock, while some have donated cash to relief efforts, as firefighters continue to battle the blazes.

Australian rockers Airbourne have urged fans to donate if they can to a range of services including the Red Cross, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Victoria’s Fire And Emergency Service, the CFS Foundation and Wires: Emergency Fund For Wildlife.

They say: “Rockers worldwide – if you haven’t heard yet, Australia is literally burning – the smoke can be seen from space and has even turned the white snow caps over in New Zealand black.

“Too many Aussies have lost their loved ones – they’ve lost homes and livelihoods, and over half a billion animals have met their fate in these devastating fires. 

“Firefighters – a lot of whom are volunteers – and all emergency personnel, including the large number of vets, are going way beyond the call to duty and we thank them with all of our hearts. Australia can’t survive without their staunch, courageous and never-say-die commitment to stopping these fires.

“Any help from you will be greatly appreciated and will go a long way – even just one pound, one euro, one dollar or one peso can help. Every little bit helps rockers – Australia is burning.”

Too many Aussies have lost their loved ones – they’ve lost homes and livelihoods, and over half a billion animals have met their fate in these devastating fires

Airbourne

New Jersey outfit Fit For An Autopsy have been selling merch to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund Australia – and sold all their items within two hours, raising more than $6000 in the process.

American singer/songwriter Pink has pledged $500,000 to help firefighters, while Australia’s news.com report that it might be possible for Queen and Adam Lambert to take part in a fundraising concert at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on February 16. The band will play the stadium the day before, but there’s been no official word.

Speaking about the fires, guitarist Brian May says on his website: “Can’t stop thinking about the tragic Australian fires and feel so helpless. I have many family members in Australia, all of whom I’m hoping to see in a month’s time on our planned Australian tour. 

“The young generation is involved in fighting the fires on Kangaroo Island. Respects. Thousands of good people lost their homes. 24 good folks lost their lives – and half a billion wild animals burned to death in NSW alone? Can it be true? Almost unthinkable – and no end in sight?”

He adds: “What can we do? We can pray – and we can put pressure on our leaders to prioritise the health of our planet rather than ‘the economy.’ It’s already too late for these creatures. We can only pray it’s not too late for the rest of our world. To all our Australian friends, we send love and our prayers.”

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley adds: “The fires in Australia are causing unfathomable loss and destruction. My heartfelt prayers for everyone enduring this catastrophe.”

Aussie outfit Thy Art Is Murder say: “All is not well at home in this new year. Australia doesn’t need thoughts and prayers right now, it needs action from it’s leaders and generous donations from us all.”

Speaking about his homeland, Midnight Oil vocalist Peter Garrett says: “I’m grieving at the multiple losses suffered on a staggering scale – angry at the repeated, despicable behaviour of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, frustrated that Climate Emergency is upon us. But so proud of our spirit – volunteer heroes, generous communities, hope.”