Queen, Olivia Newton-John to headline Australian fire relief concert
An eclectic assortment of stars including Olivia Newton-John, Queen, Alice Cooper and KD Lang will headline a massive benefit concert for Australian wildfires relief, according to a report Sunday.
The Fire Fight concert, scheduled for Feb. 16 at the 83,500-seat ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park, will also feature a host of Australian artists and will be emceed by Aussie comedian and actress Celeste Barber — whose Facebook fundraising effort has helped raise more than $50 million for the catastrophic blazes.
“Celeste has done an amazing job raising the money she has,” Paul Dainty, the event’s organizer, told Australia’s The Age. “She is great with the quips and the dialogue that will bring another dimension to the day. She will be the glue to get through the day and night.”
Dainty said he expects more acts to sign on to join the wide-ranging collection of artists on the roster.
“I have been talking to managers and agents in the UK and American,” he said. “There isn’t anyone who doesn’t know about how devastating it is.”
Topping the current lineup are a string of acts whose glory days dates to the 1970s — including 71-year-old Cooper, whose theatrical stage shows wowed baby boomers, and Queen, which is touring with American singer Adam Lambert in place of the late Freddie Mercury.
On the mellower side are Newton-John, also 71, an Australian singer who had a string of pop hits in the ’70’s, culminating the decade with a starring role in the movie version of the musical “Grease.”
Candian-born singer-songwriter Lang, just 58, will also be featured.
Rounding out the roster are locally popular — and younger — Australian acts, including rappers Baker Boy, 23, and Illy, 34, and singers Jessica Mauboy, 30, Conrad Sewell, 31, Amy Shark, 33, and 35-year-old Delta Goodrem, who once dated Nick Jonas and played Newton-John in a Lifetime movie.
Tickets for the event go on sale Monday and are expected to cost between $70 and $100.
The fires, fueled by high winds and scorching temperatures, have ravaged more than 25 million acres and killed 28 people since October.
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