I remember my family buying Innocent Eyes at JB Hi-Fi on the Nepean highway. I was twelve and just starting high school. This was the first time that I truly understood the power of the music. Delta was giving me words of wisdom during this transitional time. I played the original copy so many times that it began skipping. I bought a new one.
Delta’s music continues to be a part of my life. It was a catalyst for friendships that lasted a lifetime. Our companies grew stronger because of the music. We’ve traveled the world together, worked together, and stood by each other on our wedding days.
This record has shaped many stories, including mine. Innocent Eyes was the second best-selling Australian Album in Australia, behind John Farnham’s Whisperingjack. It sold 4.5 million copies worldwide, 1.2 million of which were in Australia. This means that one out of every four Australian households owns a copy.
Why is Delta Goodrem not included in Australian music history?
A run-away success
Innocent Eyes, released 20 years ago, achieved an unprecedented level of success. It stayed at number one for 29 weeks, a record. That’s seven and a half months. She was the first artist in Australia to have five singles at number one from a debut CD.
The 18-year-old won every award that she was nominated for, except for album of the year, which she lost twice to herself. Powderfinger joked, “Can I please see the envelope?” as he accepted his award for Vulture Street. It’s truly a complete surprise.
Delta’s diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma made headlines in the weeks before the ARIAs. Delta made her first public appearance after months. The night was a celebration of her return.
Delta recently went through her archive as part of a sold-out tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a record that captured the Australian public’s hearts uniquely.
This was not a return tour. Delta is still a major part of Australian music. She is one of Australia’s most outstanding performers. She has performed at the AFL Grand Finals (twice), Sydney Mardi Gras, and the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
She has recorded duets for Tony Bennett, Olivia Newton-John, and Celine Dion. She also wrote songs for Adele in less than an hour of rehearsal.
Delta’s latest film, Love Is In The Air, has been viewed 12 million times. She has also achieved five number-one albums.
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But no Hall of Fame?
Announced would be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The debut album of Jet, Get Born, also featured the hit song Are You Going to Be My Girl?
Jet is an Australian rock success with 6 million albums worldwide.
Delta has nine million records in its legacy. Get Born is nine times platinum, and Innocent Eyes 23 times platinum.
She sold more albums in Australia during the decade up to 2010 than any other local or international artist.
Since 1988, the Hall of Fame has honored 80 bands and artists. Eleven women have received the honor. Women are not recognized for their musical legacy in the same way that men are.
Most “best of” lists feature male artists. Rolling Stone’s The Greatest Australian Albums Of All Time has only two females (Kylie and The Go-Betweens) in the top twenty. The characteristics of “good” and artistic integrity are often associated with men. This has an impact on which artists are consecrated.
Innocent Eyes was a song that defined an Australian generation, including many teenage girls. It is often used to dismiss popular music and culture that has a predominantly female audience. Pop is not regarded as being “authentic” or masterful. Rock is. While “Poptimism” helped legitimize the genre, There’s still work for shifting these perceptions.
Delta’s talent as a musician and songwriter is underrated, as Jet was elevated to the ARIA Hall of Fame, but Delta wasn’t. She is a master of the piano and has composed almost all her songs. If I am asked why I have been a fan of Delta for so many years, I tell them that I must see her perform live. Her vocals are incredible, and she really connects.