20 of the Most Famous Australian Singers and Bands of All Time
Australia has produced some of the world’s most famous singers and bands across a variety of genres. From pop to rock, country to indie, these Australian artists have made a name for themselves both at home and abroad.
Some have achieved massive commercial success with hit songs that have topped the charts while others have built a devoted following of fans who appreciate their unique sound and style. To know more about it, let’s take a look at some of the most famous Australian singers and bands of all time.
If you’re into heavy metal rock, you’d know that AC/DC is one of the best there is. The Australian band has been around since 1973 and has released some of the most iconic rock songs in history, such as “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black”.
They’re also one of the best selling bands of all time, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Though they are commonly classified as a “rock and roll” band, AC/DC actually draws inspiration from blues rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. Fans all over the world love them for their raw and infectious energy in their performances, retaining the early rock rhythms in their tracks.
2. Natalie Imbruglia
Soap opera, actress, and singer, Natalie Imbruglia first found fame in the Australian soap opera, Neighbours. After a couple of years on the show, she decided to focus on her singing career and released a cover of Ednaswap’s “Torn” which became a chart-topping high.
Her first album, Left of the Middle, was released in 1997 to critical acclaim. Being nominated thrice for Grammys just proves how successful she is in the industry. She has released six albums in total, with the most recent one in 2021 entitled “Firebird”.
3. Kylie Minogue
This Aussie pop princess got her start in acting, starring in the soap opera Neighbors along with Natalie Imbruglia. But it was her music career and trendy fashion that really skyrocketed her to fame.
Kylie has released 14 studio albums, with hits such as “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”, “I Should Be So Lucky”, and “Love at First Sight”. She has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards and has sold over 80 million records worldwide, making her one of the best selling artists of all time.
Sia is a singer, songwriter, and record producer who first found fame with her hit singles, “Chandelier” and “Cheap Thrills”. The track became an international sensation, reaching the top of the charts in several countries. Born in Australia, she moved to London to pursue her music career.
Since then, Sia has released nine studio albums and has written songs for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Her head voice riff along with her throaty vocals that can go from the lowest range to the highest has made her one of the most famous and award-winning artists in recent years.
5. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who has taken the world by storm with her electro-hop music. Born in Australia and moved to the US at the age of 16, she initially found success with her single “Fancy”, which reached number one in several countries. She has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with, being a female rapper in a male-dominated business.
Iggy has since released three studio albums and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Tyga, Charlie XCX, and Rita Ora. She is one of the most controversial and talked-about artists in recent years, but there’s no denying her talent and success.
6. Savage Garden
Soft rock duo Savage Garden was one of the most popular bands of the ’90s. The Australian duo, composed of Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones, rose to fame with their debut album, Savage Garden, which sold more than 12 million units worldwide. Part of the album was the hit singles “To the Moon & Back”, “I Want You”, and “Truly Madly Deeply”.
Being a pair and performing for their love of music, Savage Garden became one of the most popular bands of their time. They have sold more than 23 million records worldwide with their debut album and “Affirmation.” Being musicians by heart, their songs are all feel-good tracks that range from ballads to upbeat anthems.
7. Guy Sebastian
As the first winner of the Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian has made a name for himself in the music industry. His judging role on Australia’s X Factor and coaching position on The Voice has made him one of the nation’s most renowned artists.
“Battle Scars,” his duet with Lupe Fiasco, went to the top of Australia’s ARIA Singles Chart and was certified 12 times platinum. His other hits are “Angels Brought Me Here,” “Believer,” and “Who’s That Girl”. He’s a powerful artist in the Australian and global music scene, thanks to his soulful singing voice and outstanding songwriting abilities.
8. Vance Joy
Indie folk has been part of every cool kid’s music taste in recent years, and there’s no doubt that Vance Joy has contributed to its popularity with his ukulele. The Australian singer-songwriter first gained popularity with his song “Riptide”, which became an international hit.
He joined Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour back in 2014 which gave him more exposure. His album “Dream Your Life Away” was released in the same year and contains the popular hit single “Mess Is Mine”. Vance Joy’s music is the perfect blend of feel-good and easy listening, which explains his popularity among music lovers.
9. The Bee Gees
Disco music would not be the same without The Bee Gees. This legendary disco group was composed of three brothers: Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb. They were born in England but moved to Australia, which is where they began their musical journey.
The release of “Saturday Night Fever” put the Bee Gees on the map. The album, which features well-known songs like “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, and “Night Fever”, sold over 40 million copies worldwide, won 5 Grammy Awards, and gained the group international recognition. Their music has made evolutions with pop, R&B, and disco, giving us some of the most unforgettable hits of all time.
10. Air Supply
A solid duo that has withstood the test of time, Air Supply is an English-Australian soft rock band that has been around since the late ’70s. The group is composed of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, who first met while performing in Jesus Christ Superstar in Australia.
Their hits “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” “Here I am,” and “Even the Nights Are Better” are some of the favorite tunes of the late ’70s until the present. They were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2013 and continue to perform across the globe. Air Supply is known for Hitchcock’s tenor voice and Rusell’s feel-good compositions which makes this duo one of the most popular bands in Australia.
11. Tame Impala
Psychedelic rock music has been around for decades and Tame Impala is an Australian music project that has immersed itself in this genre. Tame Impala’s musical style has been likened to The Beatles and Pink Floyd.
The group’s debut album “Innerspeaker” has received certified gold in Australia and the US. The follow-up album “Lonerism” was even more successful, reaching number one in Australia, and other countries. Their tours in the US are often sold out. The band is recognized for its psychedelic music that incorporates pop and rock.
12. Keith Urban
Keith Urban is a country music singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia at a young age and became one of the most renowned singers. He is known for his country music with a mix of pop and rock.
His famous hits include “Somebody Like You”, “But for the Grace of God”, “You’ll Think of Me”, and “Sweet Thing”. Keith Urban is one of the biggest names in country music and has even won 4 Grammy Awards and other recognitions.
INXS is an Australian rock band that was formed in 1977. They produced hits like “Original Sin,” “What You Need,” and “Need You Tonight.”
Being fronted by the late Michael Hutchence, INXS was popular because of its new wave fusion of pop, rock, and funk music. They have sold over 80 million units worldwide and have won numerous awards.
14. Tina Arena
Tina Arena is a renowned artist in Australia who excels as a singer, songwriter, musical theater actress, and record producer. Appearing in Young Talent time, an Australian variety show, led to Arena’s exposure and success in the music industry.
Winning multiple ARIA awards, World Music awards, and an Order of Australia. Tina Arena’s voice is described as mellifluous and her songs mostly fall under the pop genre. However, she has dabbled in other genres such as rock, dance, R&B, and classical music. She is also well-liked because of her excellent speaking and singing abilities in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
15. Cody Simpson
An Australian schoolboy-turned-famous musician, Cody Simpson started uploading videos of him singing cover songs on YouTube which led to his discovery. His talent in singing and playing the guitar garnered him a record deal with Atlantic Records but he left the record label in 2014.
Throughout his music career, he has won awards such as Nickelodeon Australian Kids Choice Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and numerous nominations. Other than being a renowned singer, Simpson is also known for his swimming career.
16. 5 Seconds of Summer
The Australian boy band, 5 Seconds of Summer- also known as 5SOS- found fame first on YouTube followed by being scooped up by One Direction to open for them on tour. Their musical style is mostly pop punk with some rock elements.
Now, the boys are some of the most famous Australians in the world with over 10 million albums sold, hits like “Amnesia” and “She’s Kinda Hot”, and numerous world tours under their belts. Being close to their fans plus making catchy songs made 5SOS one of the most famous Australian bands.
17. Rick Springfield
An Australian actor and musician, Rick Springfield found musical success in the US with his album “Working Class Dog” which contained the hits “Jessie’s Girl”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, and “Love Somebody”. He gained interest in music through watching the performance of The Beatles and was hooked ever since.
As a Grammy Awardee, Springfield’s music is darker than blues with a tinge of classic rock music. His acting career is also noteworthy, appearing in popular shows like “General Hospital,” “Hard To Hold,” “True Detective,” and “High Tide”.
18. Tones And I
The Australian woman behind the hit “Dance Monkey,” Toni Watson, better known by her stage name Tones And I, is a singer and songwriter who found fame through busking the streets of Byron Bay way back in 2017.
Her breakout single is “Dance Monkey” which dominated numerous charts worldwide and is now certified 17 times platinum by ARIA. She released an album in 2019 called “The Kids Are Coming” which was also a commercial success. Her music is made up of her incredible vocals, keyboard, and drum pads from the electropop genre.
19. Troye Sivan
A YouTube personality and an Australian musical talent, Troye Sivan started writing songs at a tender age. His popular songs “Youth” and “Angel Baby” catapulted him to fame and solidified his place in the music industry.
Sivan’s music usually falls under the category of pop, synth-pop, and electronica. However, he has also experimented with other genres such as ambient, indie pop, and dream pop. He has collaborated with other artists such as Tat McRae, Martin Garrix, Lauv, Ariana Grande, Charli XCX, and more.
20. The Kid LAROI
A famous singer and rapper with the recent hit song “Stay” with Justin Bieber, this Australian artist is making waves in the music industry. At only 16 years old, Charles Joshua Nicolson- better known by his stage name The Kid LAROI- is one of Australia’s most promising talents.
Being known as a friend of Juice WRLD when he went on tour in Australia, The Kid LAROI has established a name for himself by making beats through his mom’s phone and uploading it on SoundCloud and the rest is history. At only 17 years old, The Kid LAROI’s 2020 album “F*ck Love” topped the Australian ARIA Charts and earned a spot at the US Billboard Hot 100. He is a top artist with 36 million monthly listeners on Spotify, thanks to his talent and collaborations with Justin Bieber, Juice WRLD, Marshmello, and Post Malone.
Australian singers and bands are talented, humble, and experts in the art of making good music. They are popular because people enjoy their quality tracks and they have won numerous awards through their dedication and hard work.
The Australian music scene is incredibly diverse, and many famous singers and bands have made a name for themselves internationally. May it be classic rock, pop, punk, ambient, or electronica, there’s an Australian artist out there that can cater to your musical taste.
ACDC Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Teodoromix, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Natalie Imbruglia Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: Manfred Werner (Tsui), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Kylie Minogue Featured Image (Top-Right) by: marcen27 from Glasgow, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sia Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Steve Collis, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons