Even though Australia is on the other side of the world, its rich culture has brought us some of the most incredible artists in the world. From all walks of life come the best Australian male singers of all time. The Australian music industry has provided the world with some of the most spectacular artists in all genres. Check out these great artists who hail from Oz.
The Best Australian Male Singers
Let’s begin with Michael Hutchence.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Michael Hutchence traveled the world during his early childhood with his parents. While athletics were not his niche, singing was definitely at the top of his list of talents.
Musical abilities ran in the Hutchence family, with all of the children playing an instrument. Hutchense began performing in the Sidney pubs, where his career began. Later, he helped form the iconic Australian rock band INXS, becoming the lead singer and main lyricist.
Hutchence took on a couple of roles in movies, including Dogs in Space and Frankenstein Unbound. Together with his band INXS, Hutchence won over seven awards at the 1984 Countdown Music and Video Awards. Hutchence tragically took his own life in November of 1997. But his legacy will live on in the history of incredible music, as Michael Hutchence is easily one of the most famous male singers from Australia.
- Favorite Song: One of Hutchence’s best songs was released by his band, INXS. Never Tear Us Apart is simple and relatable, yet beautifully well-written. It’s often deemed as a song of romance, but the feelings and lyrics can easily be applied to any undying love connection. Love at first sight can be anything from the love of a partner to the love a mother has for her newborn child.
Wildly talented and full of surprises, Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott is next on our list. While he was born in Scotland, Scott was raised throughout Australia. A troubled youth haunted him for some time, but he was finally able to begin what turned out to be an incredibly successful career.
Scott went through a series of band changes, from the Spektors to Fraternity. But, Scott was and is most commonly known for being the lead singer of the ever popular rock group, AC/DC. Even though Scott sadly met his end, his legacy lives on in several nations, including Australia, Scotland, and the United States. From statues to millions of albums, Scott’s memory thrives, and he’s considered by his fans as one of the best Australian male singers of the 70s.
- Favorite Song: Bon Scott did his best work with AC/DC, and songs like T.N.T. really prove that. The lyrics depict a criminal lifestyle of starting fights and being wanted by the police. While the lyrics are not exactly PG, it’s a fun and catchy song. It brings back memories of childhood and hearing it play on the radio.
Australian swimmer and singer-songwriter Cody Simpson was born in Meadowbrook, Queensland. After recording covers of popular songs in his bedroom during the summer of 2009, he made his debut in 2010. Since then, Simpson has released four albums.
Aside from his musical career, Simpson is an exceptional swimmer. Before his entertainment career, Simpson had already won two gold medals at the 2009 Queensland Swimming Championships. Simpson has dabbled a bit in acting as well. It’s still early in his career, so we expect much more from Cody Simpson.
- Favorite Song: Nice to Meet You is a testament to how much Cody Simpson has grown as an artist over the years. From iYiYiY to Nice to Meet You the change is unreal. The song itself is a romantic ballad of sorrow and loss, hope and joy. The lyrics are up and down, a testament to any relationship. Simpson’s voice is full of passion and strength making the song really come together.
Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003. While Sebastian was born in Malaysia, his family migrated to Australia before the birth of his younger brothers. As a child, Sebastian took lessons on the violin, and later learned to play the drums, piano, and guitar. Sebastian was very active in the church, even taking a position as a worship leader.
Sebastian’s career took off after winning Australian Idol. He established a strong fan base and received high praise from the judges. During his career, he has released a number of award-winning albums. Sebastian also spent time as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor. Guy Sebastian’s career is still going strong after years of awards and an incredible output of spectacular albums.
- Favorite Song: Guy Sebastian is one of those singers who has a truly beautiful and unique voice. The lyrics in his piece, Believer, are beautiful and full of love. Combined with Sebastian’s voice, the song is absolutely breathtaking.
Nick Cave is known for his earth-shattering baritone voice and his place in the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. While attending college to study art, he quickly made his way into the entertainment business as the frontman of Birthday Party, the city’s most well-known post-punk band that was formerly The Boys Next Door and later became known for their darker material.
Cave is not only known for his parts in these conversation-starting bands, but he is also known for his heavily spiritual lyrics. The abstract lyrics reference the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. His songs have been widely covered by artists like Johnny Cash and Metallica. Even though Cave’s aesthetic isn’t to everyone’s taste, his works undoubtedly get you thinking.
- Favorite Song: 15 Feet of Pure White Snow is full of references to sorrow and drugs. The lyrics depict someone looking for people but can’t find them because they’re buried in drugs. Everywhere, they are surrounded by “pure white snow.” It makes you think about how one may feel being a drug addict and wanting to come out of that pain.
Jimmy Barnes was born in Scotland, but he is one of the most popular Australian rock singers to enter the industry. Barnes began his musical career by playing in a few obscure groups before joining Orange, a harder-edged group that later changed its name to Cold Chisel, the band for which Barnes is best known.
Barnes maintained a successful solo career in the music industry following the dissolution of Cold Chisel. His material has been incredibly successful, even being featured on different albums with bands like INXS. The release of Christmas albums and anniversary albums as recently as 2022 suggests that Barnes is still going strong and has no plans to slow down.
- Favorite Song: The song Working Class Man pays tribute to all those who work with their hands. Someone who lives paycheck to paycheck because no matter how hard they work, their employers don’t pay them enough to live well off. The people that love with their whole heart and do all they can for their family. It’s a reminder that our world can’t turn without the “working class man” or woman.
Wouter “Wally” De Backer, better known by his stage name Gotye, is an Australian-Belgian singer-songwriter. This incredible musician, whose voice has been compared to Peter Gabriel’s or even Sting’s, has excelled in his field. He has released more than eight studio albums between his solo career and his role as a founding member of the Milbourne indie-pop trio The Basics.
2011 saw the release of his breakthrough single, Somebody That I Used To Know, which became a hit. The song quickly rose to fame with its relatability and its catchy chorus with an earworm hook line. He has won numerous awards thanks to his spectacular hit, though that’s not his only successful hit. Gotye went from being an unknown Australian singer to an international phenomenon. This earth-shattering artist is likely going to provide us with much more.
Favorite Song: Gotye has released a number of incredible songs, but nothing has topped Somebody That I Used To Know. Gotye’s style is unique and this song shouldn’t have been nearly as popular as it is. Yet here we are. The song references a relationship that went sour due to a nonspecific addiction and how someone changes along the way.
Before taking his place in music history and going by the stage name Johnny Farnham, John Farnham started out as an Australian teen pop idol. But since then, Farnham has since built a career as an adult contemporary singer. Farnham was the lead singer of Little River Band before switching to a solo career for the majority of his professional life.
Over the years, Farnham made a name for himself with hit singles like You’re the Voice and Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head. For these awards, Farnham has been recognized with many honors and awards and as the “King of Pop” for five consecutive years by readers. Farnham will continue to be in fans’ hearts long after he leaves this earth.
- Favorite Song: There’s a reason why John Farnham’s You’re the Voice is his most successful hit. The truth is, the song is not just a song, but a call for a better world. The lyrics call you to make a difference. It’s an anthem against violence but at the same time advocates for the defense against that better world. You’re the Voice is guaranteed to make you think.
Paul Kelly is an Australian rock musician, though he hasn’t always stuck with rock-and-roll. His style has ranged from bluegrass, folk, reggae, and country throughout his journey. But similarities can be found in all of his lyrics, which capture the vast culture and landscape of Australia.
Kelly hasn’t always been a solo artist; he has led a number of music groups, including the Messengers, the Dots, and the Coloured Girls. David Fricke from Rolling Stone calls Kelly “one of the finest songwriters I have ever heard, Australian or otherwise.” Kelly is definitely known for his ability to create colorful and impactful lyrics. He’s received many awards and honors for his contribution to the mainstream music industry.
- Favorite Song: Paul Kelly’s Leaps and Bounds is one of his finest songs. For those who grew up in Melbourne, it can really bring back their childhood. It’s such an optimistic song that brings joy flooding to natives. Just like any song, it has dual meanings. Some believe the song is about drugs and can understand the references it makes.
Australian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist Keith Urban was born in New Zealand in 1967. Urban’s interest in music began at an early age, with him tinkering with a ukulele at just four years old and, at the age of six, taking up the guitar. His first number one single, But For the Grace of God, topped charts quickly after its release.
Urban quickly rose to fame after his self-titled album was released. With hit after hit, his popularity rose. In 2011, Urban began coaching the Australian version of the singing competition, The Voice. Even though Urban has struggled with both drug abuse and alcohol addiction, he has fought his illnesses and made an incredible career and legacy for himself.
- Favorite Song: Raining on Sunday is the ultimate Keith Urban masterpiece. The lyrics are a reminder to spend time with your love ones because you never know what the next day will bring. Life is hard and listening to this song makes you want to cuddle up in bed with your partner and ignore the problems of the world; and this song supports that decision. The problems will still be there tomorrow, but the person may not.
Over the years, Australia has produced many spectacular artists. They all have unique styles and backgrounds that influence those styles. The best Australian male singers out there come from all different territories or states, some were even born in different countries and migrated to Australia. But they all have one thing in common. Their backgrounds have led to some exceptionally successful artists.
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