Arena is one of 829 people announced to the Australia Day honors roll, published each year on Jan. 26. "I’m thrilled, this recognition is really lovely,” she comments. “ I first started traveling and working abroad 30 years ago, and I’ve always been asked about Australia in interviews in foreign countries, and I’m such an advocate. We live in an amazing country, Australia is rich with opportunities and as cliche as it sounds anything is possible. Who would have thought an Australian-born girl from immigrant working-class parents would end up here, I’m very fortunate to call Australia my home and so proud to be playing a small role in promoting our country to the world.”
Arena’s latest honor follows her induction last November into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Arena has recorded 11 studio albums over her career. Her most recent release, Eleven, debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA chart last November and it's now certified gold.
Arena’s biggest hit Don’t Ask was the highest-selling album of 1995 in Australia and, with more than 1 million domestic sales and 14 platinum certifications, it remains one of the top-selling albums ever by an Australian female singer. With Don’t Ask, Arena became the first solo female artist to win the ARIA Award for album of the year.
Tina Arena to Be Inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame
Arena is also a big star in her adopted homeland, France, where she was awarded one of country's highest civil decorations, the Ordre national du Mérite (French Order of Merit), for her contribution to the arts. The-then President Sarkozy was on hand to present the award, which is typically bestowed only to French nationals. She has recorded two French-language albums and sold more than 10 million units over the course of her career with France accounting for half the total.
The 48-year-old artist has been in the spotlight in her homeland since the age of eight when she joined the now-defunct variety television show Young Talent Time.
A national tour in support of Eleven will kick off Feb. 17 at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel, Melbourne.