Goodrem Delivers Down Under

Excerpted from the magazine for

The immediate success here of Delta Goodrem's sophomore album, "Mistaken Identity," reflects the Australian public's continuing love affair with the multiplatinum singer/songwriter. Now, Sony BMG is looking to take the Aussie's career to an international level.

"Mistaken Identity," released Nov. 8 in Australia, debuted at No. 1 on the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) chart. Sony BMG Entertainment Australia says the set shipped 54,000 units in its first week.

The album marks 20-year-old Goodrem's return to music after a battle with cancer. In August 2003, she was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma; she completed a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in December of that year.

Although Goodrem was unable to perform for more than a year, sales of her debut, "Innocent Eyes," mounted during her illness and convalescence. Sony BMG says the set has shipped more than 2.3 million units worldwide, including 1 million in Australia.

Several of Goodrem's new songs reflect her experience of success and despair during the past two years. She points to one album track, "Extraordinary Day," as an important personal statement. "How could I ignore the day," she asks, "when I was told I had cancer?"

The songs Goodrem wrote in the immediate aftermath of her diagnosis were, she says, "dark and introspective. Then as I got better, they became more positive."

One of those positive songs is "Out of the Blue," which she wrote about meeting her then-boyfriend, professional tennis player Mark Philippoussis. The song, released Sept. 24 in Australia as the album's lead single, entered the ARIA chart at No. 1, giving Goodrem her sixth consecutive No. 1 single. She recently announced plans for her first Australian tour, set for mid-2005.

"Mistaken Identity" bowed Nov. 29 in the United Kingdom, where "Out of the Blue" peaked Nov. 20 at No. 9. Most continental European markets will release the album Jan. 31, although Germany, Switzerland and Austria issued it simultaneously with the United Kingdom.

The album was released Nov. 8 in New Zealand and it has since been rolled out in seven Asian markets. According to Sony BMG, "Innocent Eyes" has shipped 60,000 units in New Zealand and 100,000 in Asia.

In the States, Goodrem is signed to Sony imprint Daylight Records. Before her illness intervened, Goodrem was to have made her U.S. bow in the second half of 2003. Her first U.S. release will now come in April 2005, in the form of a still-untitled set combining tracks from both albums.

Negotiations are under way for Goodrem to guest on Hawaii-based Fox TV drama series "North Shore" and contribute to its soundtrack around the time of her U.S. album's release.

Such a move would echo Goodrem's experience in Australia, where she appeared on several episodes of the Ten Network soap "Neighbours" in 2002.. That move was essential to establishing her in Australia and the United Kingdom, where the show has a loyal following.

Excerpted from the Dec. 11, 2004, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to subscribers.

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