5 Seconds of Summer Perform New Song 'Red Desert' & More Highlights From the G'Day USA Event

5 Seconds of Summer
Andy DeLuca

5 Seconds of Summer

Some of Australia's biggest stars made their way to the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles, California on Saturday night (Jan. 25) for the 17th annual G'Day USA dinner. 

This year's event was particularly noteworthy, as the evening was dedicated to raising money in support of relief and recovery efforts following the devastating Australian bushfires. All funds raised were donated to the Australian Bushfire Relief Fund and Australian Wildlife Fire Fund.

"Everybody should be raising awareness," Aussie superstar Olivia Newton-John told Billboard on the red carpet before the dinner. "I think the media has done a frighteningly amazing job of making it known. Every American I know and every Australian wants to help. Just about every one of my friends wrote to me and said, ‘What can I do to help?’"

She also gushed over her home country, and told us that her favorite things about Australia are "the bird song and the wildlife, and the bush," before adding that "sadly, the koalas are now endangered and it breaks my heart. I can’t even fathom—"

"We won't let that happen," Newton-John's niece, Tottie Goldsmith, beside her assured.

Newton-John's Grease co-star, John Travolta, was also in attendance as an "honorary Aussie" supporting his longtime pal. While chatting with the actor on the red carpet, he was quick to reflect on his happiest memories with the Sandy to his Danny. "I think singing and dancing with her is probably my favorite," he said of their 40-year friendship.

His top song from Grease? "'You’re the One That I Want’ because we’re actually performing it together," he answered. "‘Summer Nights,’ we’re separate. ‘You’re the One That I Want’ we’re interacting."

Inside the dinner, hosted by actor Hugh Sheridan, the guests were treated to a premium Australian food and wine experience while partaking in a silent auction to raise funds. Singer Delta Goodrem kicked off the evening's entertainment with a moving piano rendition of her new song "Let It Rain," which she wrote, recorded and released just days after news broke of her home country's devastation. 

"They say, 'Keep on praying'/ And we're waiting for the rain/ Let it rain here today/ Can it rain here today?" she sings in the heart wrenching chorus.

"I was seeing all the fire and was thinking, 'I want to stop this. How do I stop this?,'" she told Billboard of her song, of which all proceeds will go to bushfire relief efforts. 

Australian rockers 5 Seconds of Summer also took the stage, delivering an acoustic version of their hit song, "Youngblood," accompanied by a string quartet. They followed it up with a performance of an unreleased song titled, "Red Desert," which they wrote a year ago as an homage to Australia. 

A particularly moving moment of the night was when Sheridan called up U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Chief Josh Mathieson, who had just returned from deployment in Australia battling the bushfires. He was met by a standing ovation and rousing cheers, and explained that after Australian firefighters did not hesitate to help out during the California fires in 2018, "we wanted to return the favor.” 

The night wrapped up with the entire room singing "I Still Call Australia Home," an emotional and hopeful representation of Australia's strength in hard times.

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