Hi-5 (Australian band)
The original cast performing in 2006 (from left to right: Nathan Foley, Charli Robinson, Kellie Crawford, Kathleen de Leon Jones and Tim Harding)
|Genres||Children's music, edutainment|
|Past members||Kathleen de Leon Jones
Hi-5 is an Australian children's musical group formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1998, which is associated with the children's television series of the same name. The current members of the group are Dayen Zheng, Mary Lascaris, Tanika Anderson, Lachie Dearing and Gabe Brown. The group is aimed at preschoolers, featuring five young performers who entertain and educate children through music, movement and play.
The original members were Nathan Foley, Kellie Crawford, Charli Robinson, Tim Harding and Kathleen de Leon Jones. These members began to depart following de Leon Jones, who left on maternity leave in 2006. The original cast had been completely phased out by the end of 2008. The cast has since had regularly rotating lineup.
Hi-5 was created by Helena Harris and Posie Graeme-Evans, initially a television series for the Nine Network, which premiered in 1999. The cast of the show immediately began touring around Sydney, and later the whole of Australia, becoming a successful musical group for children. Since then, the brand has spawned numerous television series, music albums, worldwide tours and merchandise. The international appeal of the group has led to successful international versions of the brand. The television series features puppet characters Chatterbox and Jup Jup, who have sometimes been played by cast members over time. These characters became popular associations of the group and are included the live stage shows.
Hi-5 became known as one of Australia's highest paid entertainment entities, listed in the Business Review Weekly's annual list several times, earning an estimated A$18million in 2009. They have earned Double Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums, and multiple Logie Television Awards and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards. Hi-5 currently reaches an estimated global audience of more than 10,000,000 children Europe, North America, Australasia and Latin America with its tours, music and TV shows. The television series has consistently been one of the top three most successful pre-school shows in Australia and is broadcast in over 85 countries. Hi-5 broke into the South East Asian market after being sold by the Nine Network in 2012.
Original member Nathan Foley cited peer entertainers The Wiggles as an influential children's group in 2008, saying that they made it possible for Hi-5 to succeed. However, The Wiggles were themselves creators and owners of their brand, while the Hi-5 cast were merely employees and did not hold equity. Foley also stated that Hi-5 set a benchmark for a new style of non-traditional children's entertainment, and that the program had a large teenage and adult following.
- 1 TV Series
- 2 History
- 3 Cast
- 4 Musical style
- 5 Educational theory
- 6 Brand and finances
- 7 Reception
- 8 Tours
- 9 Discography
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The cast of Hi-5 are well known for the television series which they star in. The original series Hi-5 ran from 1999 to 2011 and was followed by the reinvented series Hi-5 House in 2013, which is currently running.
In 1998, television producer Helena Harris, producer of Bananas in Pyjamas, created Hi-5 when her two children outgrew Bananas. She and co-producer Posie Graeme-Evans developed the show as a contemporary form of preschool entertainment, incorporating educational trends with an appeal for all ages. Hi-5 would include music and movement to capture the attention of children. Featuring five young performers, the cast were intended to act as older siblings of viewers, rather than adults teaching children. Helena Harris said the name Hi-5 originated as her and Graeme-Evans intended for five cast members and segments and therefore wanted to feature "five" in the title. Hi-5 was derived from ideas of Hello and Hi, and led to the group's signature hand pose and logo. The series was pitched to and produced for the Nine Network through Harris and Graeme-Evan's joint production company, Kids Like Us.
Helena Harris stated that her inspiration for Hi-5 came partly from living in England, where she realised that children are the same around the world, and decided the show would appeal universally, with accessible themes such as family and animals. Hi-5 is kept contemporary so that these themes relate to the current world of children, with the producers keeping in touch with the audience. Other inspiration of Harris was watching pop group The Spice Girls, who she believed were dancing moves of a standard which preschoolers could replicate. The creators saw the need for "life-affirming" television for rapidly maturing preschoolers, and found that most children learned from shows which incorporated movement and song.
After auditions for the group (narrowing down "about 300" people to only five), the television pilot for Hi-5 was produced in mid 1998, and was shown to a test audience. No changes to the format were made after this test. The original cast consisted of Nathan Foley, Kellie Crawford, Charli Robinson, Tim Harding and Kathleen de Leon Jones, who were aged between 18 and 24 at the time of casting. After a relatively fast commissioning, filming of the first series began in October of that year. The first series began airing in April 1999. The corresponding debut album, Jump and Jive with Hi-5, was released in September, and the group toured around Sydney in the initial first year.
Harris stated that Hi-5 was fast paced for a children's show, and that physical interaction was encouraged. This was done to replicate the style and energy of a music video, which children seemed to enjoy. The educational aspects of the show were cleverly disguised with music and entertainment, and that multiple layers to the show catered for a wide range of ages in the audience, while being primarily aimed at those aged 2–8. She explained that Hi-5 was primarily a television series, but the music itself had the ability to stand alone. Harris expected that the series would initially become formatted into international versions, however the original cast was so strong that the Australian series was sold internationally instead.
Hi-5 had initial success within their first year, winning the 2000 Logie Award for "Most Outstanding Children's Program", and ARIA Award for "Best Children's Album" for the debut album Jump and Jive with Hi-5. They would go on to win several more of these awards. Hi-5 continued to film one television series and record one music album each year. Throughout the early years, the album releases also drew much success, consistently received multi-platinum album sales. Hi-5 also toured nationally every year, with sell-out national tours of their early stage shows, in venues such as the Sydney Opera House. Hi-5 won the 2002 Helpmann Award for "Best Children's Stage Show" for their production Hi-5 Alive. In 2001 and several occasions earlier, the cast stated that they never expected Hi-5 to become such a huge success. Original member Charli Robinson explained it wasn't until they went on tour that they realised. Kellie Crawford (née Hoggart) described the group as "a pop group for kids".
In 2002, it was revealed that Crawford (née Hoggart) and Foley were in a relationship, which was instructed to be kept "under wraps" for some time by producers. The pair got engaged in 2005, however called off the wedding plans in late 2006. The pair continued to maintain a professional working relationship.
Hi-5 first aired in the UK in early 2003 and became an instant hit. The group toured the UK in 2004 with the award winning Hi-5 Alive show and was a sell-out success, generating mass publicity, returning in 2005 and 2006. New Zealand and Singapore were also frequent touring destinations, both locations still being toured by the group in 2015. In 2005, Hi-5 performed in arena venues around Australia, in order to "maximise the crowds". By the end of the 2005, Hi-5 had performed to a total audience of over one and a half million people around the world. Cast members expressed just how demanding their role in the group had been, describing the job as "hard work" and "a tough gig", with touring for nine months of every year and filming the television series for the remainder, creating little time in their lives for anything else. Members also saw importance of being "career driven" and in portraying a positive image of themselves to the public in their personal lives, being "always on". However, the cast insisted that the stressful work was well worth it to see a smile on a child's face, and described the bond between the members as "like family", though the lifestyle was "quite hard in the beginning."  In later years, Charli Robinson stated she tried to leave the group "after eight years" but was convinced by producers to stay. She expressed that the following years she spent with the group were her favourite, and that she was proud of her decision to stay on.
The original cast were together for eight series of Hi-5.
Replacement of original members
In early 2006, Kathleen de Leon Jones announced she was pregnant, and would take maternity leave from April 2006 onwards. Sun Park was introduced as her temporary replacement, while de Leon Jones had her first child Mikayla in July 2006. Park was part of the filming of the ninth series in 2006, airing in 2007, and also toured with the group across Australia and New Zealand over 2006 and 2007. de Leon Jones stated that she was intent on returning to Hi-5 and her leave was not permanent at that moment. In the first episode of the ninth series, she introduced the audience to Park while announcing her pregnancy, asking Park to "mind her space" while she was away. In the last episode of the series, de Leon Jones returned to introduce everyone to her baby, Mikayla. The show was left open for her to potentially return to her role, however in July 2007, de Leon Jones made the decision to permanently leave the group to focus on being a mother. Park took her place as a permanent member with the group. Helena Harris stated that by the ninth series, "Hi-5 [was] still evolving and maintaining its relevance and freshness".
Hi-5 begun the Hi-5 Circus Stageshow tour in 2007, the first time the group would take on a such a physically demanding show, with the theme of circus incorporating tricks such as trapeze, tightrope walking and gymnastics. In June 2007, Tim Harding was involved in a serious motorcycle accident which left him unable to perform the high energy act. Harding was confined to a wheelchair for six weeks with a fractured spine. Just a few days prior to this, Stevie Nicholson was hired as an understudy, and put straight into work as a temporary replacement for Harding. Nicholson debuted with the Circus in September 2007 on the Singapore tour. Harding later recovered from his injuries, however in November 2007, it was officially announced that he had decided not to return to the group and Nicholson would take his place as a permanent member. Of his time with the group, Harding said, "I've had an incredible journey with Hi-5, one I will always cherish". Stevie was part of the cast for the filming of the tenth series, which aired in 2008. Helena Harris stated "it's like [Stevie] was born to this job." 
In February 2008, Charli Robinson (then Delaney) announced that she would be leaving the group. Robinson revealed she wanted to prove herself as an actress for an adult audience. Upon her announcement, she said, "I kind of need to de-Hi-5 myself ... I have been this character for the past ten years." She said she was proud of her "ten truly wonderful years", and would help find a replacement member. Robinson had already filmed the tenth series of Hi-5 in late 2007, which would go on to air in mid 2008. After leaving she went on to find success presenting in the Australian media industry. In April 2008, Casey Burgess was announced as Robinson's replacement, and began touring with the group.
It was announced in October 2008 that Kellie Crawford (née Hoggart) would be leaving the group at the end of the year to explore other options. On her ten years with the group, she said, "I would've always taken this opportunity if I was given it again. It's taken me all over the world". A month later in November 2008, the last remaining original member Nathan Foley also announced his departure. He expressed interest in focusing on his adult music career. He stated, "I'll always love Hi-5 and I'm very proud to be one of the original cast members, but after 10 years in the group its time for me to move on and explore other opportunities".
In December, it was reported that Crawford and Foley had been allegedly asked to leave the group by the production company, who were looking for younger and cheaper talent. The pair remained silent in response to these reports. Later in December, Sun Park also announced she would be leaving the group. She expressed she felt she would only ever be a temporary replacement, and denied the industry rumours, saying that there had been no pressure for any of them to resign. The departing members finished the Australian Playtime tour together and had their final performance at Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve in Melbourne. Of the large cast change, in later years, Casey Burgess revealed it had been a difficult transition. "We didn't know what was coming up for a moment there," she said, "It was just Stevie and I going, 'OK, what's happening now?'" 
After auditions for three new members in late 2008, the new cast began work in 2009. Lauren Brant, Tim Maddren and Fely Irvine were announced to be joining Stevie Nicholson and Casey Burgess, forming the group which would be known as the "new generation".  The group began filming the eleventh series in February, which would air later in the year. The directors of the brand stated, "We're very proud to be launching the next phase of Hi-5 and introducing the extremely talented cast to the children ...". "It's a new generation for a new generation," Burgess said at the time. "To be honest, it doesn't really matter who's up there in pigtails singing and dancing, kids just love Hi-5."  The group began touring internationally, also celebrating the group's ten-year milestone in 2009.
Hi-5 toured Australia in early 2010, reestablishing a connection with more regional locations throughout the country.  Hi-5 celebrated the 500th episode of the television series in 2010, and in 2011 celebrated Hi-5's rich history by remaking classic songs for the series, introducing them to a new generation of fans. The brand dropped from a net worth of A$18million in 2009 to A$9.7million in 2010. It is possible that the revenue dropped because of the lack of funds invested by the Nine Network into the brand, which was described as "a big cost".
In December 2011, it was announced that Fely Irvine would be leaving the cast. Irvine stated, "My time with Hi-5 has been a magical chapter of my life", but was leaving to "explore other career options". Her final performance was at Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve, and it was immediately revealed that her replacement would be Dayen Zheng, who would begin in 2012.   The cast described Zheng as having a great energy and being a "perfect fit". 
In June 2012 it was announced that the Nine Network had sold the Hi-5 brand in its entirety to an Asian equity group, Asiasons, after their financial difficulties. The Singapore and Malaysian based company revealed that they planned to expand the brand throughout South East Asia, but expressed that Hi-5's presence in Australia would remain intact. The Hi-5 Holiday stage show was brought to Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines in 2012, with the brand focusing on reestablishing an Asian touring presence.
On Christmas Eve in 2012, Casey Burgess and Tim Maddren announced that they would be leaving the group. Maddren had secured a new job with The Addams Family Australian musical, while Burgess had decided to explore other options and begin her music career. Burgess stated, "It has been an amazing five years and I am so thankful to all of you for being amazing supporters". She said that not knowing what was coming next excited her. Maddren added that he felt it was time to fulfil other dreams of his, and to allow another person to fulfil their dream in Hi-5. The Carols by Candlelight of that year was one of the pair's final performances, followed by rescheduled shows in the Philippines in January 2013. 
The new members were announced in January 2013, Mary Lascaris and Ainsley Melham, who would join Stevie Nicholson, Lauren Brant and Dayen Zheng. The auditions which were held in late 2012 were filmed and turned into Hi-5's first feature film, Some Kind of Wonderful, which premiered exclusively through Hoyts Cinemas in Australia from March. Produced by Elastic Wit Studios, the film depicted the audition process and introduced audiences to the new cast members. The group was again branded as a "new generation". Of the film, Nicholson said, "I'm proud of how diligent we were about finding wholesome new talent, people with a great energy and who are genuinely lovely people."  The television series was revamped as Hi-5 House, and filmed in Singapore, premiering on Nick Jr. in Australia in late 2013.
In June 2014, Lauren Brant announced she would be leaving the group. Her final performances were during the Australian House Hits tour in July, in which the cast wore costumes she designed under her new fashion label Loliboli. Brant stated she'd had "the most amazing journey". She was replaced by Tanika Anderson, who had previously worked with the group as puppeteer and understudy, describing the role as her "dream job". Anderson featured in the second series of Hi-5 House, which aired in 2014 and celebrated fifteen years of Hi-5, described as "bigger and better than ever". The House Hits tour was taken internationally throughout 2014 and early 2015. This tour saw Hi-5 expand rapidly with a large success and increase in touring locations. The group premiered in the Middle East with a Dubai tour, and returned to Bangkok for the first time in ten years. A sold out run in the Philippines saw the group return for an encore season in 2015.
By 2015, Hi-5's ongoing success led to the group being described as an "institution". The cast have noted that some of their current audience now included parents who watched Hi-5 as children, and also stated that the group members themselves grew up with the original Hi-5. In 2015, original member Charli Robinson described the extensive Hi-5 cast as an "alumni" which she enjoyed being a part of, using her radio job to stay in contact with the current cast. She described it as "always being part of the same Hi-5 family".
In August 2015, long running member Stevie Nicholson announced he would be leaving the group at the end of the year, to further his performing career, and association with children through a range of children's books entitled Superdudes. Of his time with the group, he stated, "it has been an absolute whirlwind journey", and expressed that he had learned more from children than he had been able to teach. Nicholson had his final performance with the group on the House of Dreams farewell tour in December 2015. The tour received positive reviews, described as a "children's masterpiece in entertainment - slick, funny, and amazingly well-choreographed and performed", and later travelled internationally. New member Lachie Dearing was introduced in early 2016 with the Songfest tour throughout regional New South Wales.
In January 2016 it was announced that Ainsley Melham had been cast in an Australian musical production of Xanadu, and would be leaving Hi-5, after already performing his final shows with the group on the Songfest tour. He stated that he felt it was time to transition back into his theatre roots after "an incredible experience" with Hi-5.  Melham was replaced by Gabe Brown, who was introduced on tour in February.
- Dayen Zheng (2012–present)
- Mary Lascaris (2013–present)
- Tanika Anderson (2014–present)
- Lachie Dearing (2016–present)
- Gabe Brown (2016–present)
- Kathleen de Leon Jones (1998–2006)
- Tim Harding (1998–2007)
- Charli Robinson (1998–2008)
- Kellie Crawford (1998–2008)
- Nathan Foley (1998–2008)
- Sun Park (2006–2008)
- Stevie Nicholson (2007–2015)
- Casey Burgess (2008–2013)
- Lauren Brant (2009–2014)
- Tim Maddren (2009–2013)
- Fely Irvine (2009–2011)
- Ainsley Melham (2013–2016)
Replacement of cast
- Charli Robinson was replaced by Casey Burgess in 2008, who was then replaced by Mary Lascaris in 2013.
- Tim Harding was replaced by Stevie Nicholson in 2007, who was then replaced by Lachie Dearing in 2016.
- Kellie Crawford was replaced by Lauren Brant in 2009, who was then replaced by Tanika Anderson in 2014.
- Nathan Foley was replaced by Tim Maddren in 2009, who was then replaced by Ainsley Melham in 2013, and then by Gabe Brown in 2016.
- Kathleen de Leon Jones was replaced by Sun Park in 2006, who was then replaced by Fely Irvine in 2009, and then by Dayen Zheng in 2012.
Hi-5 has a distinctive pop music sound which at the time of its inception was unique to children's music. Several cast members have described Hi-5 as "a pop group for kids". Chris Harriott has been the primary composer of the group's music since it was created, having produced thousands of Hi-5 songs (over 3000 by 2007), thus creating a sense of musical consistency for the group. He was originally approached by the creators with the task of writing top ten songs for an age range of 2–6. Harriott, a father himself, has been described as "prolific"  and "in tune" with the children of today. His music has been cited as one of the reasons for Hi-5's success, writing music which was described by creator Helena Harris as "easy to dance to and easy to sing along to". Harris has described Hi-5 as trying to replicate the energy of contemporary music videos, which she noticed children liked. She also stated that of the group, the music itself has the ability to stand alone. Hi-5 has been described as "a part of Australia's music history." 
Original group member Nathan Foley has praised the group's musical style on several occasions. He described the concept as innovative, as the music "is not nursery rhyme, it actually has a top 40 essence to it but the lyrics are for kids." Foley suggested this musical appeal for all ages as a reason for the group having a large teenage and adult fanbase. He cited The Wiggles as an influence of Hi-5, however he said that the respective groups have different "styles of music". Hi-5 has been successful internationally. Foley explained how "kids are universal" and "love to hear music", suggesting that the music is part of how international audiences connect to the group. Charli Robinson stated the cast were encouraged to write their own music for the group, which all of the original members did, and in later years said she still receives occasional royalty cheques for her work.
Since its inception, the Hi-5 television series has been designed by educational experts, to appeal to a contemporary audience of "media-literate" children, and relate to a child's current world. With the group being described as "for the kids of today", Hi-5 has been seen to evolve with the times, updating music and designing new looks and costumes to stay "abreast of the times". One of the unique features of Hi-5 is that the cast are presented as older siblings to the children, educating the audience in a fun and entertaining way, through "play based learning", rather than appearing as adults who are teaching them. Cast members have said that as part of Hi-5 they do not play a character, but rather truthfully present themselves to the audience, adding an element of honesty in their expression towards children. Charli Robinson stated, "If you're not honest, kids won't relate". The educational aspects of the show are cleverly disguised with music and entertainment, with the multiple layers of the show catering to a wide range of ages in the audience, while being primarily aimed at those aged 2–8. Harris stated the program was careful about body-image issues, also believing Hi-5 helped to influence fashion in young people, and acknowledging it is acceptable to "enjoy the fact there are differences between boys and girls and men and women".
The Hi-5 television series was created by Helena Harris and Posie Graeme-Evans, who based it around an underlying educational structure, consulting early childhood experts. Primarily based on Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences, Hi-5 uses an independently developed application of the model, structuring the television show around "individual differences in children's learning and thinking". It is recognised that each child learns in a different way, and each cast member has a specific segment within the show which targets a different aspect of learning, ranging from logical-mathematical thinking, to a focus on linguistic skills, to cater to a child's individual learning approach. Harris observed that most viewers had a favourite cast member, believing that children generally "respond more favourably to the presenter who models the learning style they prefer". It is also acknowledged that children learn holistically, as the cast is also presented as a group. Harris stated that children "enjoy interacting with the presenters". The skills of pre-numeracy and pre-literacy are a focus of the educational theory, to prepare children for learning at school, while also encouraging self-confidence and expression. Hi-5 also uses Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which recognises that a child's cognitive development is a process that evolves over time, with the show providing a learning experience that promotes individual growth. Cast member Mary Lascaris stated, "Hi-5 teaches every child the crucial fundamentals of child development in a big, colourful, fun way." 
Music and movement play a large part integrating the elements of Hi-5 together, music being the connecting factor between the segments. The music reinforces the central ideas which the show presents, while also being entertaining. Music is often presented in the show to bring the cast together and represent the possibilities of group music making. Each episode focuses on a simple theme such as animals, while the show has core values such as socialism, imagination and creativity. Weekly themes are consolidated with a Song of the Week, which are repeated to allow children to recognise key words and phrases and integrate ideas. The real-life messages of the show are reinforced in an entertaining way, through demonstrations and repetition, to avoid the cast acting in a parental role or as teachers, and avoiding being patrionising in the delivery of the themes. Harris intended for the themes to be accessible so that the show would appeal universally, as she believed children were essentially the same around the world. Physical interaction is encouraged, and heavily featured to make the show relatively fast paced, originally to replicate the energy of contemporary music videos. Dancing is featured, with a focus on movements that increase the integration between the left and right sides of the brain.  In later years, Hi-5 increased its focus on including technology to maintain relevant to a contemporary child's world.
The live Hi-5 stage shows are designed to be presented as stage spectaculars, as the audience of children attending the shows are usually experiencing their first theatre event. The cast encourage participation with several interactive elements throughout the show, acknowledging "the louder [the children] are, the better". The children "genuinely engage" with these interactive elements. It has been noted that even in countries in which English is not the main spoken language, the children will still enjoy themselves. However, the shows for these audiences are adapted to include "more songs, comedy and physical activity". Hi-5 is designed to be a joined experience that parents should be able to enjoy along with their children, with the stage shows made to appeal to a whole family audience. Cast member Stevie Nicholson described the experience of a parent being able to dance with their child at a concert as "special".
Brand and finances
Hi-5 was originally owned by its creators, Helena Harris, and Posie Graeme-Evans, under their joint privately owned production company Kids Like Us. The Nine Network worked very closely alongside to the brand in the early years, with the television series being produced for Nine. The brand was always "led by Helena's creative vision and drive". Harris remained with the brand for ten years as an executive, while Graeme-Evans was only involved with the first two years of production, later leaving the brand. Grame-Evans still maintained part ownership, and was "delighted to see the program's ever growing audience and success". As of 2005, Graeme-Evans is credited as "co-creator". Unlike peer entertainers The Wiggles, the cast of Hi-5 did not hold equity, but were rather employees of the brand. Because of this, the original cast in early years stated that they had financial difficulties, even though the Hi-5 brand was earning millions. Kellie Crawford (née Hoggart) stated, "the money system has to go a long way around before it gets to us." 
In March 2008, the Nine Network, along with production company Southern Star, purchased the Hi-5 brand, jointly taking over the privately owned Kids Like Us from creators Helena Harris and Posie Graeme-Evans. Nine's director of commercial development Martin Hersov said, "We are extremely proud to be picking up the Hi-5 baton and look forward to growing the brand around the world."  Southern Star had previously been the international distributor of the show, and Nine had reportedly already owned 50% of the franchise. Chief executive of Southern Star Hugh Marks stated, "It's about recognising that the show is going to a new level. The brand became officially known as Hi-5 Operations Pty Ltd, and was placed under the direction of Martin Hersov and Cathy Payne, also Nine and Southern Star executives. Helena Harris stopped her involvement with the brand along with the sale.
The brand dropped from a net worth of A$18million in 2009 to A$9.7million in 2010. It is possible that the revenue dropped because of the lack of funds invested by the Nine Network into the brand. In June 2012 it was announced that the Nine Network had sold the Hi-5 brand in its entirety to an Asian equity group, Asiasons, after their financial difficulties. The Singapore and Malaysian based company revealed that they planned to expand the brand throughout South East Asia, but expressed that Hi-5's presence in Australia would remain intact. The sale was described as an opportunity for Nine to cash in on Hi-5's success while giving it an opportunity to expand and market itself to a specific geographic audience. It was stated that Nine "didn't have the capability [at the time] to spend money on children's television", as Hi-5 was "a big cost". The franchise name changed to Hi-5 Operations Pte Ltd (commonly known as Hi-5 World, with Hi-5 Australia Pty Ltd as a subsidiary), with former series producer Julie Greene taking on the role as executive creative director, to maintain an Australian management team. Datuk Jared Lim of Asiasons became the brand's chairman, taking up a personal involvement with the group, being previously familiar with the brand. The Hi-5 brand was consolidated under new platform, Tremendous Entertainment Group (TEG), in 2014. This followed Asiasons privatising and rebranding as Tremendous Asia Partners (TAP).
Hi-5 took their passion for creating change and ensuring happiness for children worldwide beyond the stage and screen, by joining World Vision Australia as ambassadors in 2009. The group began their work in the Philippines while on a promotional tour. The group have since gone on trips as ambassadors to Cambodia in 2012, and Myanmar in 2015. The group also became ambassadors for the Starlight Children's Foundation in 2009. Hi-5 had previously held a strong history with Starlight, and described it as "a privilege to support a great cause". Their work includes regular hospital visits and attending and performing at fundraising events. The group has since maintained their relationship with both organisations, still active ambassadors in 2015.
The international appeal of the group has led to successful local versions of the brand. In 2002, an American version of Hi-5 was created, being filmed in the Australian studios. The American cast filmed two series, the first airing in February 2003 on Discovery Kids, and toured the US and Canada. The show was consecutively nominated for three Emmy Awards. The group's last performance together was in 2007.
In April 2008, a UK version of Hi-5 was announced, and later cast. The cast filmed one series in a new UK studio, produced in association with Nine and Southern Star. The series was filmed and aired in late 2008 on Cartoonito. The group toured UK and Ireland over 2009 and 2010 and later disbanded.
With Hi-5 being sold in 2012, the brand returned to licensing the show internationally. A distribution deal in 2014 saw a Latin American version of the show developed. The Latin cast was the first Hi-5 format not spoken in English and proved successful, having toured and filmed two television series to date. Hi-5 also experienced great success in the Philippines, leading to a local version of the show being created in 2015. The Philippine cast have to date filmed one television series and are currently touring.
The success of Hi-5 overseas saw the brand branch into the creation of a preschool and learning centre. The Hi-5 House of Learning was launched in Malaysia in late 2014, and based its educational curriculum on the television series' values and structure. A a pop-up interactive mall play centre, called Hi-5 Playland, was launched in Indonesia, in late 2015.
Hi-5 has enjoyed success throughout their history, in Australia and around the world. The group is known globally, and has reached an estimated audience of more than 10,000,000 children worldwide through their music, tours and the television series. The TV show has consistently been one of the top three most successful pre-school shows in Australia, and currently airs in over 83 countries. It has been stated that Hi-5 has a large teenage and adult following. The pop appeal of the music was one of the reasons leading to a group of dedicated older fans. Hi-5 became known as one of Australia's highest paid entertainment entities, listed in the Business Review Weekly's annual list several times, earning an estimated A$18million in 2009.
Hi-5 found early success touring sell-out shows around the globe. By the end of the 2005, Hi-5 had performed to a total audience of over one and a half million people around the world. In 2005, Hi-5 performed in arena venues around Australia, in order to "maximise the crowds". For many years it was the number one children's program in Australia. Cast members stated they "never expected" the group to experience so much success. The success also led to merchandising, becoming Australia's leading children's book publishing license, number one selling children's video property, and highest selling music property for children, by 2006. The brand had sold 2.4 million books, 2.8 million units of video releases, 900,000 gross units of music releases by 2006, while selling more than 1.8 million concert tickets worldwide. The group consistently received multi-platinum album sales, and won five ADVIA (Australian DVD and Video Industry Association Awards) for their releases.
The international appeal of the group has led to successful local versions of the brand, with television series launching in the United States, and the United Kingdom, and more recently, Latin America and the Philippines. Since breaking into the South East Asian market in 2012, Hi-5 has consistently been the highest rating program on Disney Junior Asia. Hi-5 has been praised for its multicultural cast, with the range of nationalities in the members highlighting the importance of diversity.
Hi-5 is considered one of the world's leading children's concert theatre entities. Hi-5 won a Helpmann award for Hi-5 Alive in 2002. A successful sold out tour of the House Hits show in the Philippines in 2014 led to the group returning for an encore run of the tour in 2015. The House of Dreams stage show in 2015 received critical acclaim, described as a "children's masterpiece in entertainment - slick, funny, and amazingly well-choreographed and performed".
The ARIA Music Awards are the annual series of awards nights which celebrate the music industry of Australia. By 2004, the group had made history by winning their fifth consecutive ARIA for the album Holiday (after winning in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004) with the most consecutive wins in one award category. This record was later overtaken by The Wiggles.
|2000||Jump and Jive with Hi-5||Best Children's Album||Won|
|2001||It's a Party||Best Children's Album||Won|
|2002||Boom Boom Beat||Best Children's Album||Won|
|2003||Celebrate||Best Children's Album||Won|
|2004||Hi-5 Holiday||Best Children's Album||Won|
|2005||Making Music||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2006||Wish Upon a Star||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2007||Wow||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2008||Planet Earth||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2009||Spin Me 'Round||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2011||Turn the Music Up||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2012||Sing it Loud||Best Children's Album||Nominated|
The TV Week Logie Awards are the annual Australian television industry awards. Hi-5 won a total of three Logie Awards, two for "Most Outstanding Children's Program", and one for "Most Outstanding Children's Preschool Program" (a rare category). 
|2000||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Won|
|2001||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Won (Tied)|
|2002||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2003||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2004||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Preschool Program||Won|
|2005||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2006||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2008||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2010||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2011||Hi-5||Most Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
Other awards and nominations
|2000||APRA Awards||Most Performed Children's Work||"Ready or Not"||Won|||
|2002||Helpmann Awards||Best Presentation for Children||Hi-5 Alive||Won|||
|2002||APRA Awards||Best Music for Children's Television||"Opposites Attract"||Nominated|||
|Songlets, Hi-5 Series 3||Nominated|||
|2005||Best Original Song Composed for a Feature Film, Telemovie, TV Series or Mini-Series||"Making Music"||Nominated|||
|2006||ADVIA Awards||Best DVD Marketing Campaign||Action Heroes||Won|||
|2007||Asian Television Awards||Best Children's Programme||Hi-5||Nominated|||
|2010||Best Children's Programme||Hi-5 Series 11||Nominated|||
|2014||Best Preschool Programme||Hi-5 House Series 1||Nominated|||
|Apollo Awards||Best Music Composition (Full Length)||Hi-5 House Series 1, Chris Harriott||Nominated|||
|2015||Hi-5 House Series 2, Chris Harriott||Nominated|
|APRA Awards||Most Performed Screen Composer - Overseas||Chris Harriott||Nominated|||
|Asian Television Awards||Best Preschool Programme||Hi-5 House Series 2||Won|||
The band tours annually with stage shows based on the television series. The shows are concert style and feature songs and segments, usually strung together with a narrative. Puppet characters Chatterbox and Jup Jup feature also. Hi-5 have visited several countries in which they are popular, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.
- 1999 Jump and Jive with Hi-5 (Series 1) 
- 2000 It's A Party (Series 2)
- 2001 Hi-5 Alive (Series 3) 
- 2002 Celebrate (Series 4) 
- 2002 & 2004 Hi-5 Alive (Series 3 and 4) - Singapore & UK 
- 2003–2004 Come On and Party (Series 5) 
- 2005–2006 Space Magic (Series 6)
- 2006–2007 Live Action Heroes (Series 7)
- 2007–2008 Hi-5 Circus Stage Show (Series 8 and 9)
- 2008 Party Street (Series 8 and 9) - Regional Australia Tour
- 2008 Playtime (Series 10)
- 2009–2010 Hi-5 Surprise (Series 11)
- 2011 Turn the Music Up (Series 12)
- 2012–2013 Hi-5 Holiday (Series 13)
- 2013–2014 Hi-5 House Party (Series 1)
- 2014–2015 Hi-5 House Hits (Series 2)
- 2015–2016 Hi-5 House of Dreams (Series 3)
- 2016 Hi-5 Songfest (Series 3) - Regional NSW
Carols by Candlelight
From 2000 to 2012, Hi-5 performed annually at Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne, which would be broadcast by the Nine Network on Christmas Eve. The group would perform a short selection of Christmas songs to entertain the younger viewers of the event, and were joined by Humphrey B. Bear, and Santa Claus, played for many years by Terry Gill. An extended show of a similar nature is available on the It's a Hi-5 Christmas video release. Several cast members noted the shows as a highlight and over the years it became common for the performance to be the final concert of departing members. 2013 was the first year Hi-5 were not invited to perform at the Carols, and since then, the group have performed annual Christmas concerts at local Sydney events. 
Each album is listed with the year it was first released. Source: National Library of Australia
|Year||Series no.||Title||Peak position (AUS)||Notes[note 1]||Refs|
|1999||1||Jump and Jive with Hi-5||33||Platinum
2000 ARIA for Best Children's Album
|2000||2||It's a Party||4||2xPlatinum
2001 ARIA for Best Children's Album
|2001||3||Boom Boom Beat||3||Platinum
2002 ARIA for Best Children's Album
|2001||It's a Hi-5 Christmas||3||Platinum|||
2003 ARIA for Best Children's Album
|2003||5 & 6||Holiday||26||2004 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2004||Jingle Jangle Jingle with Hi-5||5|||
|2005||7||Making Music||Nominated-2005 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2006||8||Wish Upon a Star||29||Nominated-2006 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2007||9||Wow!!||30||Nominated-2007 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2008||10||Planet Earth||Nominated-2008 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2009||11||Spin Me Round|
|2010||12||Turn the Music Up!||Nominated-2011 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|2011||13||Sing It Loud||Nominated-2012 ARIA for Best Children's Album|||
|Year||Series no.||Title||Peak position (AUS)||Notes[note 1]||Refs|
|2014||1 & 2||Hi-5 Hot Hits!||Distributed digitally only|
|Year||Series no.||Title||Peak position (AUS)||Notes[note 1]||Refs|
|2003||1 - 4||Hi-5 Hits||10|||
|2008||1 - 10||All the Best|
|2015||11 - 15||Best of Hi-5||Distributed digitally only|
- All Australian certifications by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Awards are also by ARIA for Best Children's Album
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-  Archived 2 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hi-5 (Australian band).|
- Official website
- Hi-5 (Australia) at the Internet Movie Database
- HI-5 at the National Film and Sound Archive