"It was only cool to have blond hair and be a surfer chick [in Sydney]. I could learn how to surf, but I still looked Italian. It took me a long time to realize that was a good thing." Natalie Imbruglia
Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia burst into the limelight with her smash hit singles "Torn" and "Wishing I Was There" from the debut album "Left of the Middle" (1998). She later released two more albums, "White Lilies Island" (2001), which spawned singles "That Day" and "Wrong Impression," and "Counting Down the Days" (2005), which produced the songs "Shiver" and "Counting Down the Days."
Imbruglia first gained notice while playing surfer girl Elisabeth 'Beth' Brennan Willis (1991-1993, 1994) in the Aussie long-running soap "Neighbours." Recently, she returned to acting in the British spy spoof Johnny English (2003, starring Rowan Atkinson) and reportedly will star in new movie Elise.
In 2002, blue-eyed, 5' 3¾ inches tall Imbruglia announced she would be an image for L'Oreal cosmetics. On a more personal note, she has been linked to actor David Schwimmer (born on November 12, 1966), musician Lenny Kravitz (born on May 26, 1964), politician Dr. Liam Fox and Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve. Currently, she is the wife of Silverchair front man, Daniel Johns.
Childhood and Family:
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia born Natalie Jane Imbruglia was raised in a small beach town on the New South Wales coast called Berkleyvale. She was born on February 4, 1975, to Italian father Elliot Imbruglia and Australian mother Maxene Anderson. The second of the four daughters, Natalie has three sisters, Laura, Michelle and Carla. At age 2 she began dancing in a special academy.
"It's never easy for me, but it's been a more enjoyable experience. I think after getting married, I'm just more content, and work is more fun. I don't feel like people are watching as closely this time. It was more free." Natalie Imbruglia
When the Australian grunge-rock band Silverchair performed in London in 1999, Natalie met band lead singer Daniel Johns (born on April 22, 1979). They announced their engagement in January 2003 and exchanged wedding vows on December 31, 2003. On humanity, Natalie recently joined G8 activist to fight poverty in Africa.
Counting Down the Days
"I didn't have any income for a long time. My profile dropped off and my bank balance too, and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was forced to struggle, which is a normal healthy part of growing up. I hadn't gone through that. I'd never had budget for anything. I probably needed a good kick up the butt cos I was a bit arrogant. It was hard and humbling but I'm glad it happened to me. I knew this time I had to work for success." Natalie Imbruglia Making her early public appearances in TV commercials for Coke, Bubblicious gum and Australian snack Twisties, Natalie Imbruglia left school to pursue her dream career, acting. In 1991, she landed a temporary role in the Aussie daytime drama series "Neighbours," playing surfer girl Elisabeth 'Beth' Brennan Willis. The character became popular, allowing Imbruglia to stay on the series for two more years (1991-1993).
"I was like, what have I done? I'm not saying it was a nasty, terrible job; it just wasn't for me." Natalie Imbruglia.
After considering acting was not the right job for her, Imbruglia headed to London and found herself enthralled with party clubs. She recalled, "I was by myself in London, going out a lot so I wouldn't get lonely. I don't come from that kind of lifestyle and was really excited to be part of it. Then the bubble burst, and all I could think of was 'Get me out of here!'"
Imbruglia faced financial problems and began to write songs to earn some money. She brought her writings to Mark Fox (ex Haircut 100 percussionist and now creative director for BMG publishing), who contacted Phil Thornally (the former bassist for Cure). The three recorded "Torn" and contacted manager Anne Barrett, who signed Imbruglia with the RCA U.K. label.
"Torn" was released on October 27, 1997. The song, produced by Phil Thornalley, written by Ednaswap and mixed by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead), hit the UK and Australia charts at No. 2 and spotted at No. 42 in the US. It also appeared on the Saturday Night Live show in March 1998.
Recorded in Los Angeles, the full-length album "Left of the Middle" eventually arrived on March 10, 1998, and reached No. 5 in the UK, No. 10 in the US and topped the Australia charts at No. 1. It also spawned three more hit singles: "Big Mistake" (April 17, 1998; produced by Andy Wright; went to No. 2 in the UK and the No. 5 in Australia), "Wishing I Was There" (June 1998; reached No. 19 in the UK and No. 24 in Australia) and "Smoke" (November 16, 1998; went to No. 5 in the UK and No. 42 in Australia).
"Left of the Middle" received rave reviews and became a Top 10 bestseller. It handed Imbruglia several awards including MTV Music Video Awards, the Australian Record Industry Award, the MTV Europe Video Music Award, Billboard Music Awards and two Brit Awards (Best International Female and Best International Newcomer). She was also nominated for three Grammys in 1999, one for Best New Artist, Best Pop Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
"White Lilies Island," Imbruglia's sophomore album, was released in 2001. It spawned the first single "That Day" on November 29, 2001, which went to No. 11 in the UK charts and No. 10 in Australia. The second single "Wrong Impression" hit the wave on March 11, 2002, reaching No. 10 in the UK, No. 33 in Australia but only reached No. 64 in the US. Four months later, the No. 26 UK single "Beauty on the Fire" arrived on July 22, 2002. The album, written and co-written by Imbruglia and produced by Gary Clark, Pat Leonard, Ian Stanley, Phil Thornally and Pascal Gabriel, went to No. 15 in the UK, No. 3 in Australia and No. 35 in the US.
"Making this record was like a slow-dripping tap. Sometimes it was grueling, because I can't do anything in music that isn't honest. It often took months to write a song I liked... The first album had a lot more anger. The way I deal with things now is not to go so head-on. I have to be true to what's happening in my life at that moment. At the same time, I try to find connections with people on every level: spiritual, emotional, and musical." Natalie Imbruglia (on album "White Lilies Island")
In 2005, Imbruglia released her third album, "Counting Down the Days". The first single "Shiver," co-written with Eg White, was released on March 21, 2005 and spotted at No. 8 in the UK and No. 19 in Australia. Natalie then worked with writer/producers Ash Howes and Martin Harrington, Blur producer Ben Hillier, and her husband Daniel Johns on the second song "Counting Down the Days," which was released on July 25, 2005, and only reached No. 23 on the British charts. The album itself peaked at No. 1 in the UK and No. 12 in Australia.
Adding to her successful music career, Imbruglia signed a six-figure contract with L'Oreal cosmetics in 2002. She also returned to acting costarring with Rowan Atkinson in Peter Howitt's comedy action, the British spy spoof Johnny English (2003) and lent her voice to the animated TV movie Legend of the Lost Tribe (2002). She is also reported to be taking the lead role in new film Elise.
"I don't want people to think that just because I'm doing films I'm going to neglect my musical career. My main project is my next album. Nothing is going to get in the way of that." Natalie Imbruglia
- Australian Music Industry Awards: Best Female Artist (1999)
- Australian Music Industry Awards: Outstanding Achievement Award (1999)
- MTV Video Music Award: Best New Artist, 1998
- Billboard Music Award: Best New Artist, 1999