Natalie Jane Imbruglia (born February 4, 1975) is an Australian singer-songwriter, model and actress.
In the early 1990s, Imbruglia was known to audiences as Beth Brennan Willis in the popular Australian soap Neighbours. Two years after leaving the program, Natalie launched a singing career with the international hit, "Torn". The subsequent debut album Left of the Middle (1997) sold 7 million copies worldwide. While following releases, White Lilies Island (2001) and Counting Down the Days (2005), have been unable to match the commercial success of her debut, the latter became her first UK #1, and all are critically acclaimed. To date she has sold more than 10 million records worldwide.
Second of the four daughters to a Sicilian
) father and an Australian
mother, Imbruglia grew up on the Central Coast
, north of Sydney
, south of Newcastle. Imbruglia studied ballet
, and highland dancing
as a child, hoping to make a career out of it. She also sang in shopping malls and in school performances. At 14 her dance instructor encouraged her to sing with an all girl group but once at the audition, the managers saw that the strikingly pretty youngster with a beautiful voice could make it on her own. They wanted to sign her as a solo act but she refused. "They were like 'we're going to make you a star...' Even at that age you couldn't talk to me like that. I was like 'see you later..'"
Imbruglia auditioned for Australian TV commercials and appeared in spots for Coke
and the popular Australian snack Twisties
. By age 16, she left high school to start a career in acting. She soon obtained the chance to play a regular role on the Australian soap opera, Neighbours
at the age of 16 1/2. Neighbours
has also launched the careers of many other successful Australian female artists such as Kylie Minogue
, Holly Valance
, Delta Goodrem
and Natalie Bassingthwaighte
By the end of her second year, she left the show to move to London, immersing herself in the city's club scene. Refused a work permit, within a year she became bankrupt. This forced her to go back to her passion of singing, something which she had been putting off because she thought everyone would laugh at her because she'd been on Neighbours. Her effort paid off with a helping hand Roselyn Della Sabina got her signed to BMG Publishing. Together Roselyn and Natalie came up with a demo of the song "Torn" which greatly impressed RCA Records and got her a record contract.
Natalie Imbruglia is one of the most successful Australian-born female singers.
She has received an MTV Award
for Best New Artist in 1998, and 3 constitutive Grammy Award nominations in 1999. She has sold over 9 million albums worldwide. She was ranked #11 on Rock on the Net's list of single artists of the year in 1998, and #76 in 2001.
Natalie Imbruglia has tied up her 4-album record deal with BMG after the delivery of her compilation album Glorious: The Singles 1997-2007
Her first internationally released single, (1997), was a cover of an Ednaswap
song. Instantly the single became one of the biggest hits of the 90s, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart
and number one on airplay around the world and was number one on the Billboard Airplay chart for 14 weeks. The single went on to sell over a million copies in the United Kingdom
It was also released as a radio single in the U.S., but not in buyable CD-format. The single quickly hit #1 on the Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart, where it stayed for 14 weeks. At the time, singles not released commercially were unable to chart to the overall Hot 100 chart (combined sales and airplay), so "Torn" made no appearance on it for a while. By the time the policy was changed in late 1998 to allow airplay-only songs, "Torn" was already heading down the charts, so its peak on the Hot 100 only ended up being at #42. The single also topped the Top 40 Mainstream/CHR Pop and Adult Top 40 charts.
In October 1997, it broke the all-time airplay record in the U.K. for being the most played (more than 2000 plays) for six consecutive weeks. It was finally No. 1 for 14 weeks in the U.K. radio chart, a record that is being tied by only Simply Red's Fairground. It was the No. 1 radio single in the U.S. from March to July 1998. It was knocked down to No. 2 by The Goo Goo Dolls' Iris.
Rick Dees, in his Top 40 Chart show also declared "Torn" as the 'number one radio single of 1990s' in their 2000 Millennium Countdown show, broadcasted from KIIS-FM on New Year's Eve.
Imbruglia made a surprise appearance alongside David Armand midway through a performance of his supposed 'interpretative dance' routine to sing her hit song Torn at Amnesty International's The Secret Policeman's Ball (2006).
Left of the Middle
Her debut album Left of the Middle
was released on 8th December 1997. It sold 350,000 copies in the UK 3 weeks after its initial release and was certified platinum. It sold another 6.5 million copies in 1998. It broke the record of the highest selling debut album by a pop/rock/alternative female artist, more than Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, and Meredith Brooks combined in its first week according to Billboard. The second single released in the UK, after "Torn" was "Big Mistake
." Natalie worked with Roselyn Della Sabina the Australian Italian collaboration paid off. "Big Mistake" debuted at number-two. "Wishing I Was There
" followed and it was less successful than her first two singles, reaching number 19. However, "Wishing I Was There
" was a smash hit on the UK radio, peaked at No. 2 in summer 1998, and was a summer smash hit in the USA radio, peaked at No. 14 on the Top 40 Show. The final single from Left of the Middle
", and the reception was much more divided compared to the other singles. It was a hit in the UK and made the top 5, while in Australia it just missed the top 40. Eventually, the album became a million-seller after charting well in many countries and entering the Top 10 in the US and UK. In 1999, she recorded a cover of the song Never Tear Us Apart
with Tom Jones
which appeared on his album Reload
Left of the Middle was certified platinum by RIAA within 4 weeks of release (3rd April 1998) and was certified 2X platinum in November 1998.
White Lilies Island
Imbruglia's next album, White Lilies Island
, arrived in 2001. Named after an island where her English
and main home is situated, the writing process took almost three years to complete in which she co-wrote every track. The album's first single, "That Day
," was very different stylistically from her previous singles, but it did not reach the UK
Top 10. In the USA, "Wrong Impression
" was released as the first single and it enjoyed small success, charting in the Hot 100 Singles
chart and the Adult Contemporary
chart. The track was also released in the UK
as a second single, and it did slightly better than That Day
. "Beauty On The Fire
", the final single, experienced minimal success and barely entered charts worldwide, and didn't make the top50 in Australia. The album still managed to sell over 2 millions copies but failed to repeat the widespread success of Left of the Middle
Counting Down the Days
Imbruglia's third album was ready in November 2003. Imbruglia's record label refused to release it due to it being too rock and not radio-friendly. She was later given songs to record with Scandinavian pop producers (Sweden producers, Bloodshy & Avant
), which she refused to do. Imbruglia and her record label parted ways at the beginning of 2004. Four months later she signed with a new label Brightside Recordings, which was formed by a former Innocent Records boss Hugh Goldsmith.
Imbruglia started working on an album again. In April 2005, Imbruglia released her third studio album Counting Down the Days in the UK with "Shiver" as its first single. "Shiver" was a huge success, and it became her longest running single in the UK since "Torn." It topped UK airplay charts for several weeks, reaching eighth place in the UK charts. It also became the most played song of 2005. The song's acclaim and reception paid off and Counting Down The Days became her first album to reach the top spot on the album charts.
It was decided that 'Sanctuary' would be second single from the album. The promo singles were sent to radio stations. The decision was later changed to the title track "Counting Down the Days", with radio stations being asked to play the album version, because the radio mix was not finished. The single was released on July 25th but it did not have as much success in the singles chart as "Shiver." Though it managed to reignite interest in its parent album, and also received a lot of airplay in the UK. Due to the single, the album managed to re-enter the top 40 in the official UK charts.
Imbruglia had a choice to either release 'Perfectly' as her third single, or use the GBP200,000 funding from BMG to do a tour. She decided to do a small European tour (as she had not done a proper tour since Left of the Middle) in late October and November to promote the album. Though the album never entered UK Top 40 again, she proved once again that she had maintained a dedicated fan base; several concerts, especially those in London sold out.
The album is the 100th best-selling album in 2005, selling 204,877 copies in the UK alone.
Glorious: The Singles 1997 – 2007
Imbruglia started working on her 4th album in late 2005. In mid 2007 the plans changed and Natalie's record company decided to release the single collection instead. The compilation is a celebration of Imbruglia's 10 years in the music industry. The only single lifted form the album - Glorious
premiered in BBC Radio2
on Chris Moyle's show. The promotion included a special acoustic gig. It can be found on iTunes
. The Singles Collection debuted at #5 in the UK Music charts, and boasted 5 new songs, including the single "Glorious", as well as a bonus DVD featuring all Imbruglia's Music Videos. The album has sold around half a million copies worldwide to date.
To Be Announced (2009)
Natalie's 4th studio album is in the final stages of mixing and will be ready to be released in the UK by March '09. She is currently in the studio mixing her fourth album with Danton Supple
. It was produced by acclaimed producer Ben Hillier
. Natalie Imbruglia has promised that her new record will be "light-hearted" and "fun". The singer revealed that fans can expect a change in music style on her fourth studio album, which will be released later this year. "I just wanna have fun. That was my main brief," Natalie told the Daily Star
. "No introspection, let's not over-think this, I wanted the music to feel up and summery. Just fun." "This record I wanted to be more light-hearted. It reflects how I'm feeling now. Ben totally felt that," she continued. "I've chilled out a lot. Maybe it's just my age. I don't take it all as seriously as I used to and I don't feel I have to prove myself any more." International release plans will be out in early '09.
Birmingham’s drummer Karl Brazil has worked on the album as a musical director. English singer Bo Bruce has worked on a few backing tracks for the album. According to the Britsh paper The Daily Mirror, the Klaxons are collaborating with Natalie Imbruglia for new material. The paper makes no mention of what sort of project this is or how they will be working together.
Songs likely to be on the album are:
- Scars (co-written with Ben Hillier and David McCracken)
- Shine on you (co-written with Gary Clark)
- Apologise (co-written with Jamie Hartman)
- Gift of you (co-written with Mike Foothoi and Winston Sela)
- Too Late (co-written with James Morisson and Martin Terefe)
- Before The Day is Gone (co-written with Wayne Rodriguez and Sheppard Solomon)
- Twenty (co-written with Sheppard Solomon)
- Brand new day (co written with Sacha Skarbek)
- When I'm with you (co written with Martin Bressle, Kara Dioguardi and Ash Hause)
- Don't Want To Cry (co written with David A. Stewart)
- In Need of Attention (co written with David A. Stewart)
- Hold On (co written with David A. Stewart)
- We've Come So Far (co written with David A. Stewart)
In 1999 Natalie released the single "Identify", written by Billy Corgan
of The Smashing Pumpkins
. The dark, brooding song — an artistic departure for Imbruglia — appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Stigmata
Imbruglia also wrote a song with Nick Seymour and David Biegel in 1999 called Troubled By The Way We Came Together which was part of the soundtrack for the movie "Go".
Imbruglia recorded the song "Cold Air" for the Mexican movie "Y tu mama tambien", which also appeared as a B-Side on Beauty on the Fire.
A further soundtrack contribution, All The Magic, was used in the Italian animated movie Winx Club - Il Segreto Del Regno Perduto (The Secret Of The Lost Kingdom). So far this track has not been released outside of Italy.
Imbruglia made her big screen debut as an actress in the 2003 British comedy, Johnny English
. Starring alongside Rowan Atkinson
, she played a supporting role as Lorna Campbell. The movie also featured another musical talent, Bond
, in a cameo appearance. Internationally, the movie did well despite negative reviews from critics. It topped box offices in 22 countries and grossed around $150m.
Since 2004, Imbruglia has been preparing for the lead role of Elise Silverton in the Australian independent film Elise
. Filming wrapped in November 2007. The movie will be premiered at European film festivals and released in Australia in early 2009.
Imbruglia made her first regular TV appearance as the character Beth Brennan Willis
in the popular Australian soap Neighbours
at the age of 16 in 1991.
Imbruglia became a worldwide spokesperson for L'Oréal
after the release of White Lilies Island
. She was a model for many cosmetic products by L'Oréal, particularly mascaras and skincare products. She also appeared in several TV commercials for L'Oréal. In July 2007, her five-year contract with L'Oréal expired and was not prolonged, because, in her words during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show
, she's "apparently ... not worth it anymore". (The quote refers to the company's slogan "Because I'm Worth It".)
Imbruglia was featured in the 6th episode of 2nd season of Celebrity Deathmatch
, in which Mel Gibson
and Paul Hogan
On New Years Eve 2003, Imbruglia and her boyfriend of three and a half years, Silverchair
frontman Daniel Johns
, were married in a beach ceremony in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia. While Imbruglia lived mainly in Windsor
, on an island named "White Lillies" (also the name of her second album), Johns lived in Newcastle, Australia
. On January 4, 2008, Imbruglia and Johns released a statement announcing their divorce
, citing the tyranny of distance as the main reason.. However, the two remain friends. She has also dated David Schwimmer
Looks and fashion
Imbruglia was named 6th most naturally beautiful woman of all time in 2004. Audrey Hepburn
topped the poll in which only experts like fashion editors, model agents and make-up artists could vote. The voting was decided on the "most naturally beautiful woman, inside and out".
She was ranked 90th on the VH1 100 Sexiest Artists.
She has been seen sporting tattoos of Sanskrit/Hindi inscription "Shreya" on her neck, Chinese word for courage on her left foot and Sanskrit Aum on her lower back, and has her left nipple pierced.
Imbruglia stated that she has never had any plastic surgery but added "I wouldn't rule it out because I don't know how I'll feel in the future." She also stated she'd like to "grow old gracefully, wrinkles and all".
Besides modelling for L'Oréal, Imbruglia also modelled Sass and Bides "The Mad Ones" dress to raise money for cancer.