Stars come out in support of Australian bush fire victims

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The Independent Online

Top international bands, including Coldplay and Kings of Leon, played at simultaneous concerts in Sydney and Melbourne last night to raise money for victims of last month's bush fires. At least 210 people were killed by the fires, the worst in Australia's history, which tore through southern Victoria state.

Kylie Minogue performed in her home city of Melbourne, coming on stage after a minute's silence to lead 80,000 people in an emotionally charged rendition of Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home". Princes William and Harry relayed a message of support on giant screens. The concert was headlined by Midnight Oil, a popular band from the 1980s and 1990s, who reformed just for the night. Lead singer Peter Garrett, now 55 and Australia's environment minister, told a press conference it was "a very, very special day for us".

In Sydney, Coldplay performed a mix of old and new numbers, including "Yellow" and "Viva la Vida". Lead singer Chris Martin said: "Today's the only day in the world when we can claim to be honorary Australians." Bee Gee Barry Gibb and Grease star Olivia Newton-John, both raised in Australia, rounded off the concert with a duet. "I think our spirits are always here," said Gibb.

Organisers hope to raise A$5m (£2.3m) to help rebuild homes.