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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 41: GUY SEBASTIAN

I don’t know where you were in the world and what was happening in your life when the year was 2003. I mean, that was 17 years ago, and if I can’t remember sometimes what I did or where I was even last year, then I guess 17 years ago will be a bit of a stretch. But let me refresh your memory about what was happening around that time in the history of…well, everything. Australia won the Cricket World Cup against India by more than 100 runs, while Steve Waugh stopped the news at 6pm on day 1 of the Sydney Test in early 2003 against England, the 5th Test in the Ashes Series that was won 4-1, as he reached a personal milestone of scoring a century within a session. England defeated Australia in extra time in the Rugby World Cup final, while Andre Agassi, Rodger Federer and Andy Roddick won the Australian Open, Wimbeldon and the U.S. Open of 2003, respectively. Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the Governor of California in November, movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Matrix Reloaded (and Matrix Revolutions), Finding Nemo, Love Actually, Mystic River, Daredevil, Bend It Like Beckham, Anger Management, Freaky Friday, Mona Lisa Smile, School of Rock and Secondhand Lions, all were unveiled during the year of 2003, while the top honours of Best Movie of 2003 at the Oscars was handed to, rightly so, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Long-running teen drama TV show Dawson’s Creek ended in May 2003, while another teen drama was unveiled on TV in September, One Tree Hill. Switchfoot (The Beautiful Letdown), Newsboys (Adoration), Skillet (Collide), Steven Curtis Chapman (All About Love), Delirious? (World Service), Mandy Moore (Coverage), Train (My Private Nation), Kelly Clarkson (Thankful), Evanescence (Fallen), Delta Goodrem (Innocent Eyes) and Martina McBride (Martina), to name a few; were all actively releasing music in 2003, while we saw major events happen in that particular year as well, from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19th, to the release of the predecessor of Facebook, Facesmash, in October 2003. All in all, 2003 was a busy year indeed for a lot of people that have lived it, or can remember it at all. But one thing that I reckon that may have been overlooked by a lot of people who can remember 2003 and all the joys and sorrows that particular year brought to them, is this: Australian Idol debut. Yes the inaugural competition found its way to Australia, and based on the UK format of Pop Idol, this competition, in its many country forms, has swept the globe and has become the catalyst of many careers being kickstarted in music by this singing competition. And so what was the direct result of the first season of Australian Idol, to ever be considered as being a pivotal moment in not only Australian history but history for the entire world? Well, the crowning of singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian as the winner of Australian Idol, Season 1, of course!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 4: DELTA GOODREM

Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Rebecca St. James, Johnny Farnham, The Rogue Traders, Natalie Bassingthwaithe, Stan Walker, Human Nature, Shannon Noll, Kasey Chambers, Samantha Jade, Dami Im, Jimmy Barnes, Olivia Newton-John, Missy Higgins, David Campbell. What do all these music artists have in common? Anyone…no one? They’re all Australian! Yes that’s right, all these artists do not originate from America, like I’m sure many people could think right, because all good music comes out of America…am I right? No really, on a serious note, music doesn’t have to come out of America for it to be good, and much of these aforementioned artists in the beginning of this paragraph have all had moderate to very high success in both Australian radio and the Australian market, as with exposure and influence overseas as well. Rebecca St. James, originally from Australia, moved to America with her family in the 1990s and became a superstar from her early teens onward. The family, the Smallbones, also produced a duo band years later- Rebecca’s younger brothers Joel and Luke a.k.a. for KING & COUNTRY (more on both Rebecca and her brothers in two separate Momentous Mondays posts at a later date). Johnny Farnham, Human Nature, Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes are all legends in their own right, and more recently, artists like Dami Im and Stan Walker have captured the international stage after winning singing competitions X Factor and Australian Idol respectively. But for me, there’s one artist that has been influential, not necessarily as popular, compared to any one of these artists I’ve mentioned, but nevertheless, has worked hard at their music, touching listeners and impacting an entire generation over the last decade or so. Delta Goodrem, basically a household name now because of her music career as well as a judge on the Australian singing competition show, The Voice; is, I reckon, one of Australian music’s most impacting and dare I say it, decade-defining, if you look at the years of the 2000s.

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