Delta Lea Goodrem (born 9 November 1984) is an Australian singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress. Signed to Sony at the age of 15, Goodrem rose to prominence in 2002, starring in the popular Australian soap Neighbours as Nina Tucker, and this assisted her in establishing an international music career. Her repertoire falls under the pop and adult contemporary styles, and heavily features the piano, which she usually plays barefoot while performing live. Her music is usually heavily influenced by classical or Adult Contemporary music. She is currently the face of Sunsilk and So Good, and has recorded a commercial for Wii Sports, Nintendo DS and Proactiv.
To date, Goodrem has achieved eight number one ARIA singles and multiple UK Top 10 singles. Her debut album, 2003's Innocent Eyes, made her one of Australia's highest selling female recording artists, spending 29 weeks at #1, selling well over a million copies in Australia and another 3.5 million internationally, debuting at #2 in the UK.
In 2003, at the age of 18, amidst her blooming career, Goodrem was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a form of cancer which affects the immune system. She has since made a full recovery but is still in remission and now devotes a great deal of her time promoting cancer charities.
In 2004 Goodrem released Mistaken Identity, her second studio album which entered the ARIA charts at #1 spawning two #1 singles and quickly gained multi-platinum status. In 2005, Goodrem embarked on The Visualise Tour, her debut concert tour of Australia, combining songs from both Innocent Eyes and Mistaken Identity.
Goodrem released her third studio album, self-titled Delta, on 20 October 2007 to yet another number-one debut, gaining multi-platinum status within the first few months of release. Goodrem also shifted attention to different markets, releasing the album in the Far East and the USA. In January 2009, Goodrem embarked on the Believe Again Tour of Australia to support her third studio album. To date, she has sold approximately 5 million albums, and 6 million combined albums and singles worldwide.
Childhood and discovery
Delta Lea Goodrem was born on 9 November 1984 on the outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales to parents Denis and Lea Goodrem. Her parents named her Delta after the Joe Cocker song, "Delta Lady". Goodrem, who showed a strong interest in music and performing from a very young age, attended The Hills Grammar School, though due to its curriculum placing strong emphasis on sport (Goodrem taking part in netball, running and swimming), music was primarily kept separate. At the age of seven, she appeared in an American commercial for the Galoob toy company, starring alongside fellow Australian Bec Cartwright and began playing piano at the same age while taking up singing, dancing and acting lessons. She appeared in numerous commercials for companies such as Optus and Nesquik, and had several minor roles in episodes of successful Australian television shows including Hey Dad...!, A Country Practice and Police Rescue.
At the age of thirteen Goodrem recorded a five song demo CD, financed through her television work. It was sent to the Sydney Swans Football Club (of which Goodrem is a supporter) and they passed it onto Glenn Wheatley, the manager behind successful Australian artists, Little River Band and John Farnham. Interested in Goodrem's potential as a recording artist, Wheatley signed Goodrem an artist development deal with independent label, Empire Records. Between June 1999 to September 2000, she worked with producers Paul Higgins and Trevor Carter on thirteen tracks for an album called Delta, which saw "an ambitious 15-year-old keen to emulate the pop sound of the Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Mandy Moore." The album has yet to surface, Goodrem preventing its release years later via civil action in 2004.
2001?2003: Career launch, Neighbours and Innocent Eyes
Delta Goodrem at The Palazzo resort in Las Vegas
At the age of 15, Goodrem signed a record deal with Sony and began work on an album of pop-dance songs including the unsuccessful debut single "I Don't Care", which peaked at number sixty-four on the ARIA singles chart in November 2001. The album and proposed second single "A Year Ago Today" were pushed aside as a result, allowing Goodrem and Sony to re-evaluate her future musical direction. In 2002, Goodrem took up the role as shy school girl and aspiring singer Nina Tucker in the popular soap Neighbours, which helped re-launch Goodrem's music career. The piano-based ballad "Born to Try" co-written by Audius Mtawarira premiered on the show and became her first ARIA number one and UK Top 3. Goodrem's role on the show scored her a Logie for "Most Popular New Talent" at the 2003 Logie Awards and two other nominations at the 2004 Logie Awards (including a Gold Logie nomination).
"I Don't Care" (2001)
Goodrem's debut single was a
pop-dance song which failed to make
an impact on the charts.
In January 2003, "Lost Without You" again topped the ARIA singles chart and reached number four in the UK, increasing Goodrem's popularity. Her largely self-penned debut album Innocent Eyes was released in March and debuted at number-one on the ARIA album charts, breaking Australian records previously held by John Farnham's Whispering Jack (1986) by staying at number-one for 25 consecutive weeks, while tying with Neil Diamond's Hot August Night (1972) as the second longest charting number-one album with a total of 29 weeks at top spot. It was the highest selling album in Australia of 2003 and sold over a million copies in Australia alone, 4.5 million worldwide. The album also charted highly in the UK, peaking at #2.
Not Me, Not I", released following the announcement Goodrem had been diagnosed with cancer, became her fourth consecutive ARIA number-one single, overtaking the previous effort of three number-one's from Kylie Minogue's debut Kylie album.
Goodrem ceased work on Neighbours and her music to begin treatment and in early August, announced she would not renew her contract with Glenn Wheatley, mother Lea Goodrem replacing him as her manager. Later that month, Goodrem won seven ARIA Awards, including "Best Female Artist", surpassing Natalie Imbruglia's previous record of six awards in 1999. Too unwell to perform at the ceremony, singer Darren Hayes performed a rendition of "Lost Without You" as a tribute, bringing an overwhelmed Goodrem to tears. Her first full-length DVD Delta became the highest selling music DVD by an Australian artist in Australia ever, with a certification of 12x platinum, while Australian-only release "Predictable" became her fifth consecutive number one ARIA single in December. Goodrem made a recording that she didn't want to be released publicly and had to battle with her old record company to prevent them from releasing it.
2004?2006: Mistaken Identity, film debut and The Visualise Tour
After announcing in late December 2003 that she was in remission, Goodrem began work on her second album. In September 2004, she became the face of soft drink giant Pepsi in Australia, appearing on the product, billboards, TV advertisements and performing an exclusive show for competition winners. In October, first single "Out of the Blue", co-written and produced by Guy Chambers, debuted at number-one in Australia and number nine in the UK. October saw Goodrem launch her own lingerie line titled "Delta by Annabella". Goodrem's second album Mistaken Identity, notable for its darker themes inspired by the hardships of her previous twelve months, was released in early November and debuted at number-one in Australia, Top 10 in New Zealand, but peaked at a disappointing number twenty-five in the UK. "Almost Here", a duet with Irish singer Brian McFadden, reached number three in the UK, became her seventh ARIA number one, and her first number one in Ireland. Singles released only in Australia - "Mistaken Identity", "A Little Too Late" and "Be Strong" - were moderately successful.
"Out of the Blue" (2004)
This big ballad was co-written and produced by Guy Chambers.
"Mistaken Identity" (2005)
The title track from Goodrem's second album presented a darker side to her songwriting, detailing the effects of her illness.
"Together We Are One" (2006)
The theme song of the opening ceremony for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Co-written with Chambers and McFadden.
In March 2005, she starred in her first film role of Hating Alison Ashley, a film based on the popular children's novel, Goodrem acting the title character. The film performed poorly at the box office and was not a critical success, some critics citing Goodrem's performance as too robotic and detached. April saw Goodrem relocate in New York to launch her career in the United States with a re-worked version of "Lost Without You". She appeared in the last two episodes of short-lived American series North Shore in a bid to gain greater exposure around the US. "Lost Without You" proved to be modestly successful, peaking at number eighteen on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, but Goodrem was reportedly dissatisfied with its performance. Plans to release a hybrid of her first two albums were later terminated and Goodrem put America on hold.
In July, Goodrem embarked on her first headline concert tour of Australia, The Visualise Tour. Ticket prices (ninety-nine Australian dollars each) came under criticism for being higher than most international acts touring Australia at the time and this initially led to slow sales. By the time the concerts were due to take place, many venues sold out after tickets were reduced to $60. Once the tour concluded, over 80,000 tickets had been bought in total making The Visualise Tour one of Australia's highest selling local tours. The Visualise Tour: Live in Concert was released in November and became Goodrem's second #1 DVD.
On 15 March 2006, Goodrem performed a new song, "Together We Are One", at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in front of 80,000 spectators and up to 1.5 billion television viewers worldwide. The song, written specifically for the event with Chambers and McFadden, was released in Australia, peaking at number two, and was performed by the Top 5 contestants on American Idol. In June, Goodrem signed to Modest! Entertainment for her worldwide management. October saw Goodrem promoting in Japan with the release of an updated version of Innocent Eyes and the Japan-only single "Flawed", which reached number one on the Japanese download chart. The album peaked at number eight on the Japanese international chart (excluding Japanese artists) and number nineteen on the official Japanese album chart (including Japanese artists). In November, Goodrem appeared with Westlife on UK talent series The X Factor to perform a duet titled "All Out of Love", which appeared on the boyband's ninth LP, The Love Album. She was in Melbourne on Christmas Eve to headline the annual Carols by Candlelight.
2007?2009: Delta, American debut and The Believe Again Tour
On 10 August 2007 Goodrem was in Los Angeles to film the music video for "In This Life", the first single which is also the opening theme for the anime Deltora Quest, based on the novels by fellow Australian Emily Rodda. The video premiered on 31 August on Sunrise. "In This Life" was released as the first single from her new album on 15 September. It debuted at number one on the Australian Singles Chart, becoming Goodrem's eighth number one single in Australia.
"In This Life" (2007)
First single from her third album. Written with Brian McFadden.
Her latest album, self titled Delta, was released in Australia on 20 October 2007. Goodrem has described the material as "...a lot lighter" compared to her previous album Mistaken Identity. In January she stated, "As people become more aware of your life, they can pinpoint what songs are about. On this album, I've tried to remove a lot of that and just write great pop songs, songs that are from my heart but there's no baggage with them". The album debuted on number one on the ARIA albums chart, marking her third number one album in her home country, and received platinum certification for shipments of 70,000 records, though sales were much lower; only 23,000 copies were sold during the first week. In December the album received a 2x platinum award for shipments of 140,000 copies. The album was certified 3x Platinum in February.
Goodrem performing during promotion in Australia
The second single of the album was "Believe Again", released in December. The video for the song was one of the most expensive ones made in the Australian music history. It was the most added song on the radio of week 46. The song debuted and peaked at #2 on the Australian Singles Chart. The third single, "You Will Only Break My Heart", was released on 29 March 2008 and peaked at #14. The fourth single to be lifted from the album is "I Can't Break It To My Heart", which debuted and peaked at #13. Following the release of the lead single, Goodrem currently holds the record for most #1 singles on the ARIA charts by an any artist, with 8.
According to Goodrem, she is going to explore new places around the world in 2008, including Brazil. Goodrem has also written numerous songs that have been recorded by other artists, one song even being used as the winners song in Norweign Idol in 2007. Goodrem wrote the Middle-Eastern influenced song, "Eyes On Me", which was recorded by Celine Dion and released as the second single from her worldwide hit album, Taking Chances. It was originally intended to be included on Goodrem's album but didn't make the cut. "Eyes On Me" was released as the second single in the UK from Taking Chances in early January 2008.
In January 2009, Goodrem will embark on the Believe Again Tour tour of Australia to support her third studio album Delta. The concert tour will see Goodrem up close and personal around the nation performing hits from her stellar career and current hit album Delta. Upon announcing the dates Goodrem said; "It's extremely exciting. I can't believe it's taken this long but I've already started putting the set list together and there are so many songs to play. I have been inspired by some intimate shows I have done recently here and internationally, and by playing theatres I can be closer to all the people who have taken my record home." She has also recorded a duet with Olivia Newton-John to help raise money for Olivia's Cancer Hospital in Melbourne. The duet has been confirmed by the Australian magazine, New Idea, to be called "Gotta Be Right Here With You". On 27-28 March, Goodrem performed a two night show at The Seymour Centre in Sydney, quoting that she "wants to share a night of music with her loyal fans and forum friends".
In February 2008 different sources reported that Goodrem was dropped by her record company in the US, Sony BMG. However, this was later denied by her partner McFadden, who claimed in an interview that she just switched record labels. She is now a part of Mercury Records. He also stated that she was at that moment in L.A. to shoot a new video and make the cover for the US version of the album Delta. In March, she entered the Australian Recording Industry's record books after becoming the first artist to win 12 Number One Chart Awards. Every single from her 3 albums have also reached the Top 15 on the ARIA Charts, another significant statistic.
In July 2008 Goodrem released her third album in the United States. The tracklisting was the same as the Australian version, only one song was removed ("The Guardian") and one song was replaced by Goodrem's first international hit and anthem "Born To Try". "In This Life" is the first single released from the album and has received considerable airplay on the Hot AC radiostations. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks and has since then peaked at #20. Goodrem travelled around radio stations to promote the song and the album, which debuted at #116 on the Billboard 200 selling over 6,000 copies in its first week. It also peaked at #1 on the Hot Heatseekers Chart. Goodrem states about her adventure in the States: "It feels really wonderful, I don't have expectations, I'm not going over with expectations, I'm just wanting to give my songs to more people." In September Goodrem will begin major promotion through America including an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, after having already performed on The View.
Billboard single reviews editor Chuck Taylor offered a Spotlight Review of Goodrem's "In This Life" in April 2008: "At last. Aussie Delta Goodrem has scored eight No. 1 singles at home since 2003, while the first of her three albums spent 29 weeks at No. 1; she's also a mainstay across much of Europe. Goodrem was signed for a minute to Columbia/U.S., in 2005, where single "Lost Without You" grazed the AC top 20. Now former Sony honcho David Massey, installed as president of resurrected Island Def Jam imprint Mercury, is championing the stunning 23-year-old singer/songwriter here?and he means business. Oz chart-topper "In This Life" is an ideal vehicle to fuel horsepower, showcasing frantic piano, turbine tempo, a singalong lyric about giving into love ("Three steps fight an honest fight/Two hearts can start a fire/One love is all I need, in this life") and a vocal that illustrates incomparable prowess?not to mention Goodrem's heaping media-friendly persona. The world knows Delta on a first-name basis. It's high time America got with the program."
In August 2008 the fourth single from her third album was released in Australia. The song, I Can't Break It To My Heart, debuted at #13 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
In July 2008 it was announced that Goodrem will embark on a national tour of Australia aptly entitled the Believe Again Tour in smaller venues than she did on her Visualise Tour. Goodrem felt that the songs on her new album lent themselves to a smaller, more intimate setting. She originally announced 9 dates in 7 different cities, but later announced more shows due to a high volume of ticket sales, performing 14 shows in 8 cities overall. Goodrem was quoted as saying what viewers saw at the AFI Awards, regarding her remixed song and dance performance of Believe Again, in 2007, is only a taste of what is to be expected from her new tour. The tour ran from to , 2009.
Goodrem was nominated for two awards at the 2008 ARIA Awards - Highest Selling Single and Highest Selling Album - and won the award for Highest Selling Album of 2008. At the 2008 World Music Awards held on in Monaco Goodrem received her third World Music Award for World's Best Selling Australian Artist.
2009-present: Fourth Studio Album
During a recent Australian interview it was mentioned by Goodrem that she will begin work on her fourth studio album, due to be released in late 2009 to early 2010. Goodrem was a guest judge at the Sydney auditions for the seventh season of Australian Idol from to , and received good reviews for the guest appearance. Goodrem has become the latest global face of Proactiv Solution, promoting the skin and care treatment alongside Vanessa Williams and Jessica Simpson. A concert DVD of Goodrem's Believe Again Tour was released on 2009.. The DVD of the Believe Again Tour debuted at No.1 in Australia ahead of Michael Jackson, Andre Reiu and Neil Diamond. Goodrem is currently writing and producing songs with Lucie Silvas in Nashville for her fourth album.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Goodrem said the five things she misses most about Australia when on tour are vegemite, the Australian Football League, BBQs, her bed and pillow, and "the spirit of Australia".
On 8 July 2003, at the age of 18, Goodrem was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer which attacks the body's immune system. She was forced to put all working commitments on hold while undertaking treatment for the disease. In an exclusive interview with the Australian Women's Weekly, Goodrem revealed that her body had been giving warning signs since 2002. Symptoms included a head to toe rash, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, and the appearance of a lump on her neck. "I was doing sit-ups when I felt something pop in my neck. I reached down and I felt a small lump at the base of my throat. It wasn't sore, it wasn't visible, but I could feel it." As part of her treatment, Goodrem undertook chemotherapy, which resulted in the loss of her hair, and radiation therapy.
The news of her diagnosis made newspaper and television headlines and an outpouring of support was shown by fans and the general public alike, Goodrem thanking them during The Visualise Tour for all the letters and well wishes she received. Much of Goodrem's 2004 album Mistaken Identity, in particular "Extraordinary Day", is inspired by her battle. Reflecting on that period of her life, Goodrem says,
It's weird to see pictures of that time. In some ways the fact that I was so sick was so out there, and yet I kept it really private. No-one saw me on the days I was really sick...I was 18 when I was diagnosed and I had a number one album and single in the country. And in the UK, I was number two. It was such a bipolar year.
In 2007, Goodrem's mother, Lea, revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. On 27 October, she told News Limited that she had been diagnosed 8 weeks earlier.
During her work on Neighbours, Goodrem had a relationship with fellow cast member Blair McDonough and it is widely speculated that the song "Not Me, Not I" was written about their breakup. In 2004, Goodrem began a nine month relationship with Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis. Her "comeback" single "Out of the Blue" was written about his support during her cancer battle. The couple ended in controversy when newspapers reported Philippoussis had been unfaithful. Reports indicated Philippoussis had been linked with socialite Paris Hilton before breaking it off with Goodrem; though this was denied by Philippoussis, it was confirmed by Goodrem. In 2004, Goodrem began dating former Westlife singer Brian McFadden, with whom she collaborated on the single "Almost Here", and this caused immense tabloid scrutiny in the UK. It was suggested the pair had embarked on their relationship before McFadden and then-wife Kerry Katona had separated. In May 2006, newspapers claimed that Goodrem's mother had advised her to end her relationship with McFadden in order to concentrate on furthering her career. In the album sleeve of Delta, Goodrem is candid about her mother as well as boyfriend Brian McFadden. "I'm sorry we hurt each other, this chapter was hard to write," she wrote, referring to Lea. "Be strong in this next chapter, there's so many memories to make, laughs and smiles to have." Goodrem also thanked McFadden: "You made me believe again in life, love, music, and to be the best person and therefore the best artist I can be. "Every dream I have, we're standing side by side, we laugh, we sing, we cry." On 30 November 2007, Goodrem and McFadden announced they were engaged. It is revealed in the Christmas Eve issue of OK Magazine Australia that McFadden pre-planned the proposal for months. He wrote a book recounting their moments from when they first met until the final page when he asked Goodrem "Remember the day when I proposed to you in Bali?", and McFadden did propose to her in a delayed trip to Bali because of Lea's problem with breast cancer. The announcement was made because McFadden revealed that his fans thought Goodrem rejected the proposal. Goodrem accepted the proposal and the couple have postponed their planned 2009 Christmas wedding.
Goodrem is very close to her family - her mother Lea, father Denis (who are divorced) and younger brother Trent. Trent has attracted media attention as an Australian rules footballer who many believed would be an AFL Draft prospect. The left footed wingman attacking defender started with the Sydney AFL with the East Coast Eagles and represented NSW/ACT against Tasmania at under 18 state level. Goodrem was hoping that Trent would join the Sydney Swans, her favourite team, however it did not eventuate and Trent moved to South Australia to increase his draft opportunities playing semi-professionally with the Central District Football Club in the SANFL.
Goodrem regularly visits sick children in hospital and uses her own experience with cancer to help raise awareness for other young people affected by the disease. A percentage of each ticket for The Visualise Tour went towards the "Delta Goodrem Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Trust Fund", established by Goodrem in support of cancer research. In May 2005, Goodrem helped launch "Teen Info on Cancer", a UK website aimed at supporting young teenage sufferers. In November 2005, Goodrem became an ambassador for Research Australia's "Thank You Day", which honours the country's health and medical researchers and received a Thank You Day Celebrity Advocacy Award "in recognition of her efforts in raising funds and awareness for Australian medical research and charities." Goodrem is set to be the face of Alternative Hair, the UK hairdressing industry's top fundraising event, in aid of cancer charity Leukaemia Research. Goodrem is also member of RADD (Recording Artists, Actors And Athletes Against Drunk Driving), a group of celebrities raising awareness of the risks of drunk driving.