Today may not be a memorable day for most people, but for most Australians today will consist of having a barbie and a few drinks on the beach with mates listening to some classic Aussie music. So in light of the fact that it is Australia Day, I thought I’d have a listen to some famous Aussie musicians and share who I think are the best ten to make it internationally.
10. Archie Roach
This man has made some great headway for Aboriginal people regarding awareness for racial issues in federal politics. With his Human Rights Award winning song Took the Children Away, raising questions about the Stolen Generation and how displacement has caused them so much pain.
9. Hugh Jackman
He may not be an obvious choice for a music artist, but what many people don’t know is that Hugh started his career playing Peter Allen in a stage musical. And he was brilliant. This man can do absolutely everything: sing, dance and act. If you’ve only seen him as Wolverine, you need to see Les Mis to really understand what this guy is capable of.
8. Hilltop Hoods
One of the very few successful rap/hip hop artists to come out of Australia, Hilltop Hoods have become one of the most popular in their genre. Not to mention they’re still producing great music 22 years after their formation.
7. Midnight Oil
Led by the strange dance movements of singer (and now former politician) Peter Garret, this classic rock group shaped Australian music in the eighties and through to the early nineties. The band was most famous for addressing important issues and bringing them to the forefront of the general public’s minds. Their ’87 hit Beds Are Burning confronted issues of affording Aboriginal people native title rights and the lack of attention it was getting in federal politics.
This Adelaide singer may have struggled with addiction, but she has made so many creative and massively popular tracks that she just can’t be left out.
5. Jessica Mauboy
Making her debut on the popular reality TV show format Australian Idol, this young powerhouse has a very long résumé already. With a few albums under her belt, a performance on Eurovision, and a fantastic movie role on The Sapphires this young talent will no doubt continue to make waves both nationally and internationally.
4. Keith Urban
This country legend has become a huge success in the US. With a judging role on the American version of Idol, it would’ve made no sense whatsoever to exclude this singer from the list.
3. Kylie Minogue
Known almost as well for those infamous hot pants as her singing, Kylie has certainly made waves in the UK and the US alike. Beginning her career in the long-running (and slightly cringeworthy) Aussie soapy Neighbours, Kylie just keeps going from career high to career high. There’s no stopping this great.
2. Yothu Yindi
Combining traditional Aboriginal music and eighties pop music, this classic band was responsible for one of the biggest hits of the era: Treaty. If you don’t know the song, look it up. Not only is it a creative and catchy hit, it has a powerful message.
I don’t think I really need to explain why these legends are my number one, do I?