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Hi-5 (Australian group) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
For the television series of the same name starring the group, see Hi-5 (Australian TV series) and Hi-5 House.
Quick facts for kids
Hi-5
A distant stage shot of five performers, all are in bright clothes and have their right hand raised in the air. All have headset microphones, most are facing to their right and dancing. Behind them are movable sections, each is brightly coloured.
Original members, 2006 (L–R: Nathan Foley, Charli Robinson, Kellie Crawford, Kathleen de Leon Jones and Tim Harding)
Background information
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Children's, edutainment, pop
Years active 1998 (1998)–2019 (2019)
Labels Sony
Past members see Members below

Hi-5 were an Australian children's musical group formed in 1998 in association with the children's television series of the same name. Helena Harris and Posie Graeme-Evans created the television series for the Nine Network, which premiered in 1999. The group were made up of five performers who entertained and educated preschool children through music, movement and play. Kellie Crawford, Kathleen de Leon Jones, Nathan Foley, Tim Harding and Charli Robinson were the founding members. By the end of 2008, all of the original line-up had left, and the group's membership changed several more times after that. They collectively starred in several television series, released albums, and performed on worldwide tours. The television series features puppet characters Chatterbox and Jup Jup, who were included in the group's live stage shows.

Hi-5 were one of Australia's highest paid entertainment groups, placing in the Business Review Weekly's annual list several times, earning an estimated A$18 million in 2007. As employees of the brand, once owned by the Nine Network, the members of Hi-5 did not hold equity. The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) certified their albums as double platinum (It's a Party), platinum (Jump and Jive with Hi-5, Boom Boom Beat, It's a Hi-5 Christmas) and gold (Celebrate). Four of them reached the top 10 on the ARIA Albums Chart; It's a Party (number four, July 2000), Boom Boom Beat (number three, August 2001), It's a Hi-5 Christmas (number four, December 2001) and Hi-5 Hits (number ten, July 2003). By 2004, the original line-up had received three Logie Television Awards for Most Outstanding Children's Program and five consecutive ARIA Music Awards for Best Children's Album.

The group's later iterations did not enjoy the same popularity or critical success as its original line-up. Hi-5 were last nominated for a major Australian award in 2012 and last released an album in 2014. The Nine Network sold the brand to Malaysian-based group Asiasons in 2012, who shifted its commercial focus to the Southeast Asian market. After a short-lived television revival in 2017, the group's production company wholly relocated to Singapore and began employing a roster of temporary performers for touring purposes until 2019.

Musical style

Hi-5 was described as "a pop group for kids" by Foley in 2004. Chris Harriott was the group's primary composer, writing thousands of their tracks. Graeme-Evans and Harriott had worked together when he scored the themes for the teen dramas series, The Miraculous Mellops (1991) and Mirror, Mirror (1995), and he had worked on his own in Australian theatre. The creators approached him and tasked him with writing top ten songs for an age range of two to six. Harriott worked regularly with a group of lyricists, including Chris Phillips, Leone Carey and Lisa Hoppe. Foley cited the Wiggles as an influence of Hi-5, but noted the respective groups had different musical styles, with Harriott's compositions resembling top 40 rather than nursery rhymes. Original member of the Wiggles and classical musician Phillip Wilcher commended the gentle educational appeal of Hi-5's music, and declared that they seemed to "know the subtle difference between childlike and childish."

Educational value

"We are a pop group but with educational values and we push this as much as possible. We take on a big brother or sister role as opposed to a parental role and just try to have fun."

—Nathan Foley, 2004

Hi-5, and the related television series, blended educational aspects with music and movement, while regularly updating the music and costumes to remain "abreast of the times". The members were presented as older siblings or friends to their young audience, rather than appearing as adults teaching them. The series' creators loosely based it on an underlying educational structure influenced by Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. The producers recognised that most children have a preferred style of learning, and structured the group's work to have each member modelling skills in a specific area such as kinesthetic learning and musicality. Harris observed most children would identify with the presenter who demonstrated their favoured learning style. According to the group's website, Hi-5 incorporated Piaget's theory of cognitive development. The educational theory caters to a wide range of ages in the audience while being aimed primarily at children aged two to eight. Harris intended for the central themes promoted to be universally accessible, as she believed children are essentially the same around the world. The pace and design of the group's performances were influenced by that of contemporary music videos. They encouraged participation at their live stage shows through interactive elements with which the children engage. Group members expressed that performances were adapted to include more songs and physical elements in countries where English is not the main spoken language.

Hi-5 was described as "a pop group for kids" by Foley in 2004. Chris Harriott was the group's primary composer, writing thousands of their tracks. Graeme-Evans and Harriott had worked together when he scored the themes for the teen dramas series, The Miraculous Mellops (1991) and Mirror, Mirror (1995), and he had worked on his own in Australian theatre. The creators approached him and tasked him with writing top ten songs for an age range of two to six. Harriott worked regularly with a group of lyricists, including Chris Phillips, Leone Carey and Lisa Hoppe. Foley cited the Wiggles as an influence of Hi-5, but noted the respective groups had different musical styles, with Harriott's compositions resembling top 40 rather than nursery rhymes. Original member of the Wiggles and classical musician Phillip Wilcher commended the gentle educational appeal of Hi-5's music, and declared that they seemed to "know the subtle difference between childlike and childish."

Brand and finances

Hi-5 brand creators, Harris and Graeme-Evans, originally owned it under their joint production company Kids Like Us. In contrast to their peer entertainers, the Wiggles, the cast of Hi-5 did not hold equity, but were employees of the brand. Crawford noted, "the money system has to go a long way around before it gets to us". In March 2008, the Nine Network and production company Southern Star purchased the Hi-5 brand. The franchise was placed under the direction of Martin Hersov and Cathy Payne, Nine and Southern Star executives, while Harris and Graeme-Evans ended their involvement with the company with the sale.

The brand dropped from a net worth of A$18 million in 2009 to A$9.7 million in 2010. In June 2012, the Nine Network sold the Hi-5 brand to Asian equity group, Asiasons, through a private fund. The company planned to expand the brand throughout Southeast Asia, while maintaining its presence in Australia. Former series' producer Julie Greene became the brand's executive creative director. The Hi-5 brand was consolidated under Tremendous Entertainment in 2014, after the equity fund was sold. The Nine Network renewed its partnership with the Hi-5 franchise in October 2016 and participated in the production of a new television series in 2017. In September 2018, the Australian production office was closed; the entire franchise relocated to Singapore.

The franchise launched a series of international versions; each group toured and produced local adaptations of the television series. In 2002, an American version of Hi-5 was created; the group filmed for television, recorded albums and toured. By 2005, franchises local to India, South America and Germany were planned, but these did not eventuate. A television series and a tour introduced the UK group in 2008. After the brand's sale in 2012, there was a return to licensing international groups. In 2014, a Latin American group was created, followed by a local version for the Philippines in 2015, and the introduction of an Indonesian group in 2017.

Commercial performance

Business Review Weekly's annual Australian income list recognised the group as one of the country's highest paid entertainment groups, estimating annual earnings of A$18 million in 2007. The franchise was reported as Australia's highest selling children's music property in 2007. The original quintet consistently received album ARIA accreditations for their releases: Celebrate was accredited as gold, while Jump and Jive with Hi-5, Boom Boom Beat and It's a Hi-5 Christmas went platinum. It's a Party received double platinum status. Four of the original line-up's albums reached the top 10 on the ARIA Albums Chart – It's a Party peaked at number four in July 2000; Boom Boom Beat reached number three in August 2001; It's a Hi-5 Christmas at number four in December 2001; and their greatest hits album, Hi-5 Hits, reached number ten in July 2003.

Members

Timeline

Discography

  • Jump and Jive with Hi-5 (1999)
  • It's a Party (2000)
  • Boom Boom Beat (2001)
  • It's a Hi-5 Christmas (2001)
  • Celebrate (2002)
  • Hi-5 Holiday (2003)
  • Jingle Jangle Jingle with Hi-5 (2004)
  • Making Music (2005)
  • Wish Upon a Star (2006)
  • Wow! (2007)
  • Planet Earth (2008)
  • Spin Me Round (2009)
  • Turn the Music Up! (2010)
  • Sing it Loud (2011)
  • Hi-5 Hot Hits! (2014)

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by Hi-5
Award Year Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
ADVIA Awards 2006 Action Heroes Best DVD Marketing Campaign Won
Apollo Awards 2015 Chris Harriott, Various (for Hi-5 House) Best Music Composition (Full Length) Nominated
APRA Screen Music Awards 2002 Chris Harriott, Lisa Hoppe, Chris Phillips (for "Opposites Attract") Best Music for Children's Television Nominated
Chris Harriott, Various (for songlets) Nominated
2003 Chris Harriott, Lisa Hoppe (for "Celebrate") Nominated
2005 Chris Harriott, Leone Carey (for "Making Music") Best Original Song Composed for a Feature Film, Telemovie, TV Series or Mini-Series Nominated
ARIA Music Awards 2000 Jump and Jive with Hi-5 Best Children's Album Won
2001 It's a Party Won
2002 Boom Boom Beat Won
2003 Celebrate Won
2004 Hi-5 Holiday Won
2005 Making Music Nominated
2006 Wish Upon a Star Nominated
2007 Wow! Nominated
2008 Planet Earth Nominated
2011 Turn the Music Up! Nominated
2012 Sing it Loud Nominated
Asian Academy Creative Awards 2018 Hi-5 (for "Vehicles") Best Children's Entertainment or Drama Won
Hi-5 (for "Cultural Festivals") Best Preschool Programme Won
Asian Television Awards 2007 Hi-5 Best Children's Programme Runner-up
2010 Nominated
2015 Hi-5 House Best Preschool Programme Won
2016 Nominated
2017 Hi-5 Won
Helpmann Awards 2002 Hi-5 Alive Best Presentation for Children Won
2006 Space Magic Nominated
Logie Awards 2000 Hi-5 Most Outstanding Children's Program Won
2001 Won (Tied)
2002 Nominated
2003 Nominated
2004 Most Outstanding Children's Preschool Program Won
2005 Most Outstanding Children's Program Nominated
2006 Nominated
2008 Nominated
2010 Nominated
2011 Nominated

Notes

Citations

Bibliography

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