Delta Goodrem - Biography & Career
"I'm 20 years old and I've really just started," exclaims Columbia Records artist Delta Goodrem on the eve of the release of Born To Try, the Australian singer-songwriter's American debut album. "I'm a new artist here and I'm excited to be sharing my music with a new part of the world."
With the stateside release of Born To Try, Delta's ready to give America its first taste of the phenomenal pop music magic that's made her a household name in her native Australia, where one in every four households owns a copy of her debut album, Innocent Eyes. Delta's broad-ranging musical appeal readily reached the UK, where she's enjoyed a string of eight high-charting albums and singles running from 2002's "Born To Try" through 2005's "Almost Here." Delta's first album earned her double platinum sales status in the UK (where it hit #2 on the charts) and in Ireland as well as gold record status in Germany, Indonesia, and Singapore.
An engaging and compelling introduction to the music of Delta Goodrem, Born To Try is a masterful compilation of tracks, bringing together her worldwide hits including six of her #1 Australian singles (four of which were Top 10 UK singles) -- "Born To Try," "Innocent Eyes." "Lost Without You" (the album's first single), "Not Me Not I," "Out Of The Blue," and "Almost Here" -- alongside key selections and fan favorites from her two #1 bestselling Australian albums -- Innocent Eyes (Australia, 14x platinum; New Zealand, 4x platinum) and Mistaken Identity (Australia, 4x platinum; New Zealand, platinum) -- as well as a brand-new song, "Never Fades Away."
"My first American album, Born To Try," Delta explains, "is a compilation of my two Australian albums, but it's really neither of them, so the album's named for a song that's very important to me. 'Born To Try' is the first song I really connected with. I wrote it nearly three years ago, but it feels like it's my signature song. It doesn't say I was 'Born To Win' or 'Born To Lose,' it's just 'Born To Give It A Good Shot.'"
Written when she was just 17, the song "Born To Try" became Delta Goodrem's first #1 single, the song that secured her status as Australia's sweetheart shortly after its release in 2002.
The DualDisc edition of Born To Try features in-the-studio footage of Delta and her guitarist, Rich Sanford, performing stripped-down arrangements of "Born To Try," "Out Of The Blue," and "Last Night On Earth" (a song from Mistaken Identity that does not otherwise appear on Born To Try), distilling the songs to their pure acoustic essence. The DualDisc also includes her new "Lost Without You" video and making-of-the-video footage, live performances and behind-the-scenes footage from Delta's recent SRO "The Visualise Tour" and an exclusive interview with Delta about the songs on the album.
Delta's interest in the performing arts--and Australia's interest in Delta--dates back to her childhood, when, at the age of 6, she began training as a classical pianist. A combination of piano, dancing and acting lessons led to a role, at age 7, on the Australian television comedy, "Hey Dad…!," as well as appearances in numerous other television programs and advertisements.
"My parents brought me up to be positive. They always really encouraged me," she remembers. Moonlighting creatively from her television schedule, Delta had "written about six songs" and asked her parents if she could use her savings from her acting jobs to cut her first demo.
This "very serious 12-year-old that wanted to do music" was also a "massive football fan" and included the Australian National Anthem on her demo, which she sent to her local football club, the Sydney Swans. By the time she was 15, Delta Goodrem had been signed to Sony Music in Australia.
"I can safely say that I didn't really have a lot of influences," Delta remembers. "I tried to find my own way as a singer and a writer. It didn't really occur to me to try to follow somebody. It was only when I got my record contract when I was 15 did I start to take note of radio and what was going on with other artists. I was working out what sort of artist I was. When you're 15 or 16 and serious about what you're doing, you've got to make sure you find your own style. I wound up writing 'Born To Try' and then my whole life completely changed."
In 2002, Delta Goodrem was cast as "Nina Tucker," an aspiring singer on the Australian primetime soap opera, "Neighbours." Deciding on a musical number that would illustrate her "really shy character…coming out of her shell," Delta introduced "Born To Try" to the world. The song quickly hit the #1 slot in Australia and the #3 spot on the UK charts. Her second single, "Lost Without You," debuted at #1 while her debut album, Innocent Eyes generated a record-breaking five #1 singles ("Born To Try," "Lost Without You," "Innocent Eyes," "Not Me Not I," and "Predictable"). Delta Goodrem became the first Australian female performer in history to be credited as both performer and writer on four or more #1 hits in Australia.
"I've had some pretty crazy times by a young age," Delta says, thinking back to 2003 and its stark contrasts. The same week she had the #1 album and #1 single in Australia, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, forcing the young artist to put her burgeoning career on hold and focus on her health.
In October 2003, she took home a record-breaking seven ARIA Music Awards (the Australian equivalent to the Grammys). By December, the Innocent Eyes album broke the Australian record for most consecutive weeks at #1 before becoming the second longest charting #1 album in Australian history.
By August 2004, with her cancer in remission following months of intensive treatment, Delta began work on her second Australian album, Mistaken Identity. Released in November 2004, the album debuted at #1 as did its first single, "Out of the Blue." She returned to the #1 spot with "Almost Here," her duet with Irish singer/songwriter Brian McFadden (formerly of Westlife).
July 2005 found Delta embarking on "The Visualise Tour," her first-ever series of solo headline concerts in Australia's largest arena venues. A full-on state-of-the-art production, "The Visualise Tour" featured a string section, dancers, and Delta Goodrem connecting with her audience with the music they all love. "Being on-stage playing arenas is the most unbelievable feeling in the world," Delta confesses. "It's so amazing…seeing and hearing everyone singing the words back to you."
For Delta Goodrem, it all comes back to the songs and she's looking forward to bringing their positive messages and melodic power to new, and returning, audiences. "All the songs have a different meaning," she offers. "They've all got a bit of history for me now. I really hope they can create different memories. They're like the soundtrack to my life. Each of them comes from a different time. 'Born To Try' had been written and released years before my diagnosis, but then it became a song that helped me get through those rough times. It was always an important song to me, but now it's even more so."
Delta's gratitude, exuberance and love of life comes through in her personality and her music. "I'm back at full steam and trying to look after myself and take in all the lessons that I learned," she says of her experience with Hodgkin's. "It's important to not put these things off, you should make sure you're in check with your body and listen to it." To help raise awareness and work toward prevention and a cure of Hodgkin's and other diseases, Delta teamed up with her doctors to found the Delta Goodrem Leukemia and Lymphoma Research Foundation.
"Being able to write and express yourself through music is just such a beautiful thing," says Delta Goodrem. "I'm a lucky girl to be able to do what I love to do."