16 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Australian Singers Of All Time

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Australia, a country known for its vibrant culture and diverse landscapes, has long been a breeding ground for exceptional talent in various fields. One such field where Australia has made a significant impact is music.

From rock to pop, country to hip-hop, Australian artists have not just dominated the local scene but have also made their mark on the global stage, earning accolades and admiration from fans worldwide.

This blog post will look at the life and careers of 16 of the greatest and most famous Australian singers of all time. Let’s get started!

1. Kylie Minogue

Born in Melbourne, Australia, with her parents of Irish and British descent, Kylie Ann Minogue, known as simply Kylie, is a pop singer-songwriter and actress.

Minogue’s career started in the Australian show Neighbours before beginning her music career in the early 1990s. Her first single, “Locomotion,” topped the charts in several countries, including Australia, the UK, and the US.

Since then, Minogue has released 11 studio albums and starred in several films and television shows. Some of her well-known songs include “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” “Spinning Around,” and “Slow.” She is also one of the few Australian singers to have achieved success in Europe and the US. 

In addition to her music career, Minogue is a successful businesswoman and has launched her fashion line, Kylie Clothing.

2. Sia

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, popularly known as just Sia, is a music video director, singer-songwriter, and record producer.

Though she began writing songs and studying classical voice at a young age, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that she started her career as a vocalist in the Adelaide-based acid jazz band Crisp.

When the group disbanded in 1997, she released her debut solo album, Only See, then moved to London, England, and provided lead vocals for the British band Zero 7.

After her stint with the duo band, she released several albums. Most notable are the chart-topping 1000 Forms of Fear and This Is Acting. The former spawned the hit single “Chandelier,” while the latter featured the global #1 hit “Cheap Thrills.”

3. Iggy Azalea

Amethyst Amelia Kelly, popularly known by her stage name Iggy Azalea, is a rapper and singer. She was born in Sydney, Australia, and moved to Mullumbimby when she was a teenager.

Azalea attended school until year nine but eventually dropped out. When she was 16, she moved to the US to pursue a career in hip-hop music. She first gained attention for her videos on YouTube, where she uploaded under the pseudonym “Iggy Azalea.”

In 2012, Azalea signed a recording contract with Grand Hustle Records. With the label, she released several mixtapes and extended plays (EPs) before releasing her debut studio album, The New Classic, in 2014.

The album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and topped the charts in other countries, including Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

4. Natalie Imbruglia

Our next singer, Natalie Imbruglia, is not only a singer-songwriter but also a model and actress. Her father is Sicilian, and her mother is English, but she was born and raised in Australia.

Like Kylie, she was also a part of the Australian show Neighbours. Three years after leaving the program, she began a singing career with the release of Left of the Middle in 1997, springing instant hits like “Torn” and “Big Mistake.”

Imbruglia’s second studio album, White Lilies Island, sold more than four million copies and earned a Grammy Award nomination. Three years after releasing her third album, she announced a hiatus from music. However, she returned with the album Come to Life in 2009.

Aside from her music career, Imbruglia is also a TV personality, and she also does philanthropic work for causes like mental health awareness, as well as breast cancer awareness and support.

5. Cody Simpson

Australian singer, songwriter, dancer, and model Cody Simpson was born in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, in 1997. At a young age, he would record covers of popular songs and post them on YouTube.

He was subsequently discovered by record producer Shawn Campbell in 2010. By the age of 13, Simpson was signed to Atlantic Records and released his hit song “Summertime” and “iYiYi” (featuring American rapper Flo Rida).

He has released several other successful albums since then, and he has done some work in the TV industry as well. Simpson also explored Broadway, starring as Dmitry in the remake of the stage musical Anastasia from 2018 to 2019.

6. Tina Arena

Filippina Lydia Arena, more known by her stage name Tina Arena, is a musician, actress, record producer, musical theatre, and singer-songwriter. Arena was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1967 and is known for her high soprano voice.

In her nearly five-decade career, Arena has sold over 10 million records all over the world, making her one of the country’s highest-selling artists. Among her most notable records are “Burn,” “Chains,” and “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” among many others.

She has also won several awards during the length of her career. In 2015, she was included in the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. A year later, she was granted the high honor of being part of the Order Of Australia for her contributions to the music industry.

7. Jessica Mauboy

Australian R&B and pop singer, songwriter, and actress Jessica Mauboy was born and raised in Darwin, Australia to parents of mixed Indonesian descent. 

When she was only 14, Mauboy formed a girl group called the Young Divas with three of her friends, who had also auditioned for Australian Idol. The group released their self-titled debut album in 2006, which peaked at #3 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified Platinum.

Mauboy’s third studio album, Beautiful, was released in 2013 and reached #2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It produced three top-10 singles, including “Pop a Bottle (Fill Me Up),” which peaked at #1.

8. Delta Goodrem

Songwriter, singer, and actress Delta Goodrem was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. At a very young age, Goodrem enrolled in singing, acting, dancing, and piano classes. She also had her first taste of fame as a child actress, playing a prominent role in Neighbours from 2002 to 2005.

At only 15 years old, she signed with Sony Music and released her debut studio album, Innocent Eyes, in 2003. The album topped the ARIA Albums Chart for a record of 29 weeks, non-consecutively, and reached #2 on the UK Albums Chart.

Considered among the highest-selling artists in Australia, Goodrem’s debut album sold more than four million copies globally. It was also certified Diamond in Australia and multi-Platinum in several other countries, including the UK and the US.

9. Guy Sebastian

Singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian was born in Malaysia to a Malaysian father and an Australian mother. They eventually moved to Australia years later, and Sebastian grew up there.

Sebastian started to show an interest in music at a young age, learning several instruments mostly on his own. He was part of the worship music group Planet Shakers between 2002 and 2005 as a backup vocalist. However, in 2003, he had his big break.

He was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003, and his winning song “Angels Brought Me Here” ranked #1 on the charts and earned Platinum certification.

He has since released seven studio albums, all of which met critical success. He also represented Australia at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in fifth place with “Tonight Again.”

10. John Farnham

British-Australian singer John Farnham was born in Dagenham, England. However, when he was very young, his family migrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne.

As a teenager, he has had an interest in music, becoming part of the local Australian band The Mavericks. Not soon after, he joined another band, Strings Unlimited, this time as the lead singer.

It was with Strings Unlimited that he was discovered by a talent scout, and by 1967, he became a teen pop idol. His cover of “Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)” sparked his fame in Australia.

Farnham’s popularity rose even further with hit singles such as “I Don’t Want to Love You” and “Underneath the Arches.” When he reached his 30s, he became the lead singer of the Australian rock band Little River Band, replacing Glenn Shorrock.

11. Tones And I

Australian singer-songwriter Toni Watson, better known by her stage name Tones and I, was born in Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia, although she has kept her birth year under wraps until today.

She had humble beginnings in her music career, posting covers of popular songs on YouTube and performing at local events when she could. It was in one of these local performances that she was eventually discovered.

Not soon after, in 2019, she was signed to Bad Batch Records and released her debut single, “Johhny Run Away,” which became a viral hit. Her second single, “Dance Monkey,” also hit the charts, and it spurred her into international fame.

Despite being new to the industry, Tones and I have earned several accolades already, including Independent Song of the Year for “Dance Monkey” and Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

12. Rick Springfield

English-Australian singer-songwriter Richard Lewis Springthorpe, better known by his stage name Rick Springfield, was born in Guildford, Australia.

He began his career early in his teens, becoming the bass guitarist for Australian pop band MPD Ltd. He went from one band to another, eventually becoming the vocalist and lead guitarist for the Australian band Zoot from 1969 to 1971.

Not long after, he debuted his solo career with the single “Speak to the Sky,” which reached the top 20 in Australia in 1972. He has since recorded several hit singles, yet the most memorable one is “Jessie’s Girl,” which ranked #1 in Australia and in the United States.

More than just a musician, Springfield was also an actor, starring in TV shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man. He also explored Broadway theater, being cast in a role for the Tony-awarded musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

13. Troye Sivan

YouTuber Troye Sivan Melle, simply known as Troye Sivan, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but migrated and grew up in Perth, Australia, for most of his life.

He began his music career in 2006, singing in local talent competitions when he was just 11 years old. The same year he started, he performed together with Australian singer Guy Sebastian.

He also posted vlogs (video blogs) on YouTube, along with song covers, which gained him international fame.

Not soon after, in 2013, he signed with EMI Australia and released his first single, “Happy Little Pill,” a year later, which became an instant hit. His subsequent records spurred him to international fame, singing other successful songs such as ” “Youth,” “I’m So Tired,” and “Revelation.”

14. Keith Urban

Country singer Keith Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, but migrated to Caboolture, Queensland, Australia, when he was two years old.

When he was young, he took guitar lessons and started performing at local singing competitions. At age 16, he competed in the televised talent show New Faces, which gained him popularity in Australia.

By 1990, he signed with EMI Australia and released his self-titled debut album a year later. He eventually moved to the US in 1992. He then released his debut American album, also called Keith Urban, in 1999, and produced hits like “It’s a Love Thing,” “Your Everything,” and “But for the Grace of God.”

His back-to-back hits in the US quickly brought him to fame, and since then, he has sold at least 15 million albums and had more than 20 singles charting at #1.

15. Daniel Johns

Former frontman of the rock band Silverchair Daniel Johns was born in New Castle, Australia. He began to have an interest in music in his pre-teens, forming a band with school friends when he was only 12 called The Innocent Criminals, which was renamed Silverchair.

Together with his band, they released several successful recordings such as “Tomorrow,” “Freak,” and “Straight Lines.” In 2013, Johns explored a solo career and released his solo debut single in 2015. “Aerial Love” peaked at #21 on the Australian Singles Chart.

Known mainly for being a rock artist, Johns has since explored more genres in music, and his albums now feature a mix of synthpop, R&B, and soul.

16. Helen Reddy

Ending this list is Helen Reddy. This renowned singer began her entertainment career at an early age in Melbourne. Her big break came when she won a talent contest, which put her on the map and paved the way for her future success.

One of Reddy’s most iconic songs is “I Am Woman.” This anthem, released in the 1970s, became a symbol for the feminist movement during that time and significantly elevated Reddy’s fame. Other notable hits from her repertoire include “Delta Dawn” and “Angie Baby.”

Reddy enjoyed immense success throughout her career, becoming the first female singer to have a #1 hit song in the US. Beyond singing, she also hosted television shows, including The Midnight Special on NBC in 1973.

Summing Up Our List Of Great Australian Singers

So there you have it: 16 Australian singers who have made their mark on the music industry, both at home and abroad.

Some of these artists you will be familiar with, while others may be new to you. Whichever ones you know — or even if you end up exploring some of the other names on this list — we hope that you enjoy their music as much as we do!

If we’ve missed a singer that should be on this list, let us know! We’ll happily add them here for you!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.