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Guy Theodore Sebastian (born 26 October 1981) is an Australian singer-songwriter, and winner of the first Australian Idol television talent quest in 2003. He has released seven top ten albums, with six peaking in the top five, including a No. 1. His seventh album Armageddon was released in October 2012, becoming his second album to reach No. 2 and was certified gold in its second week. His first six albums all achieved either platinum or multi platinum accreditation. He has also released ten top 10 singles, including six No. 1's, and has had three other top 15 singles. Guy is the only Australian male artist in Australian music history to achieve six No. 1 singles, and is third overall for all Australian acts. Only Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem have more. He has 36 platinum and 4 gold accreditations for albums and singles, the highest accreditations of any Australian Idol contestant, and has sales of over 2.6 million in Australia alone. Guy has also charted in New Zealand with five top ten singles including two No. 1's, and a No. 3 album, and has five platinum and two gold certifications there. In September 2012 he became the first Australian Idol contestant to chart in the US, when "Battle Scars" debuted at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart.
Guy has been one of Australia's most successful musicians in recent years. He has been nominated for 17 ARIA Music Awards, including "Best Male Artist", "Best Pop Release" and "Single of the Year". He won "Highest Selling Single" ARIA Awards for "Angels Brought Me Here" and "Who's That Girl". He has also had four songs shortlisted for the APRA "Song of the Year" including "Who's That Girl", which won the 2012 APRA "Urban Work of the Year" Award. He has worked with some notable American musicians. He co-wrote songs for his second album Beautiful Life with Brian McKnight and Robin Thicke. His fourth album The Memphis Album, a tribute album to Memphis soul, was recorded with members of The Mgs, including Steve Cropper who co-wrote and played on some of the original songs. The Mgs were also his band on his 2008 Australian tour. His fifth album Like It Like That features several tracks with John Mayer playing guitar and singing backing vocals, and also a duet with Jordin Sparks, "Art Of Love". The album was released in the US in June, 2010. "Who's That Girl" the lead single of Guy's sixth album Twenty Ten features US rapper Eve. "Battle Scars, the third single from his upcoming seventh album features Lupe Fiasco
Guy Sebastian's father Ivan is of Sri Lankan descent, while his mother Nellie has an English and Portuguese background and was raised in India. The family moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1988. They eventually took up residence in Adelaide, South Australia due to Ivan's work as a geologist. As a child Sebastian took violin lessons, and although he had no formal training in other musical instruments, also plays guitar, drums and piano. He attended Paradise Community Church, one of the largest church communities in Australia. He became one of Paradise's main worship singers. He also sang with Planetshakers, performing both lead and backup vocals in their 2002 and 2003 conferences and albums and travelling to Asia and America with them. After winning Australian Idol he continued his association with Paradise Church, recording on several of their albums, Adore in 2004, and Set Me Free in 2005. Sebastian began studies in Medical Radiation, but left to pursue his love of music. He juggled two jobs, teaching vocals at high schools, and working as a recording engineer, while also studying Music Technology at the Elder School Of Music. In May 2003 he auditioned for Australian Idol, singing Stevie Wonder's Ribbon in the Sky. This audition earned high praise from the judges. With his unique performances and versatility, not only did he won praise from the judges but also the hearts of many Australian viewers. On the 22nd of November, 2003 he won the first Australian Idol competition.
2003 Just As I Am
Guy Sebastian recorded his first album Just As I Am in the first week after winning the competition. He was only given 6 days to record it, as the record company wanted to release it for the Christmas market. Even with this time restriction he was able to include three of his own songs. "Angels Brought Me Here", his winner's song, was released and debuted at No. 1, and went on to sell 4 x platinum and become Australia's highest selling single for 2003. It was awarded the 2004 Aria for Highest Selling Single, and in early 2010 ARIA named it the highest selling song of the previous decade. His album Just As I Am was released in early December 2003, debuted at No. 1, and became the 5th highest selling album in Ausralia in 2003 with only 3 weeks of sales counting. Just As I Am eventually went on to sell almost 7 times platinum. It received a nomination for Highest Selling Album at the 2004 Arias. Early in 2004 his second single "All I Need Is You" debuted at No. 1 and achieved platinum accreditation. During 2004 he also travelled overseas to write for his 2nd album. Sebastian's album was also released in Asia and NZ. Angels Brought Me Here went No. 1 in four Asian countries and New Zealand. His album reached No.3 in New Zealand and gained double platinum accreditation there, with "Angels Brought Me Here" gaining platinum accreditation.
2004 Beautiful Life
Guy's second album Beautiful Life had a more R&B edge to it including a duet with American R&B singer, Mýa. The first single, "Out with My Baby" was released in October 2004, and became Sebastian's fourth consecutive No. 1 release. The song was accredited platinum and had sales of 90,000. The album debuted at No. 2, and went on to gain platinum accreditation and sell in excess of 100,000 copies. Two other singles were released from the album, "Kryptonite" which reached No. 15, and "Oh Oh" which peaked at No. 11. He received awards for Favourite Video, Favourite Music Artist, and Favourite Aussie at the 2005 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, and a MTV Video Music Award for "Out With My Baby". Beautiful Life also received a nomination for Highest Selling Album at the 2005 ARIAs. Despite his success in Asia and New Zealand with his first release, plans to release this album there did not go ahead after his record company Bmg merged with Sony.
2006 Closer To The Sun
Guy Sebastian's third album Closer To The Sun was written mainly with Australian musicians and was a mix of many genres including pop-rock, R&B, jazz and soul. This album was released in October 2006, debuted at No. 4 and was certified platinum. Its first two singles "Taller, Stronger, Better" and "Elevator Love" gained gold accreditation. Jennifer Hawkins a former Miss Universe appeared in the Elevator Love video clip as Guy's love interest. The third single from Closer to the Sun, "Cover On My Heart", was released in August 2007, peaking at No. 32 on the Aria chart. Closer To the Sun was awarded Best R&B Album at the Urban Music Awards and was also voted most popular album at the Dolly Teen Choice Awards in 2007. For the second year in succession Guy received the Fav Aussie award at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
2007 The Memphis Album
In August 2007 Guy travelled to Memphis, Tennessee to record a tribute to Memphis soul with musicians who played on the original tracks, Steve Cropper and other members of the legendary soul band The Mgs (Booker T & The Mgs). The Memphis Album became Sebastian's most successful since his first album. It debuted at No. 3 in November 2007, and spent 8 weeks in the Top 10 and reached double platinum. The Mgs travelled to Australia in early 2008 to be Guy's backing band for his tour. He was nominated for a Helpman Award for 'Best Performance In An Australian Contemporary Concert' for The Memphis Tour, and also won two Australian Club Entertainment Awards that year. The Memphis Album was also nominated for Highest Selling Album at the 2008 Aria Awards, finishing third. It was his third album to receive a nomination for this category.
2009 Like It Like That
Like it Like That was released in October 2009, debuting at No. 6 and achieved platinum accreditation. It was recorded mainly in the US, and has three tracks featuring John Mayer on guitar and backing vocals, and also contains a duet with Jordin Sparks, "Art Of Love". The first single, the title track "Like It Like That" reached No. 1 on the ARIA Chart, and went on to become the highest selling Australian song of 2009, and achieved triple platinum accreditation. "Art Of Love" the second single peaked at No. 8 on the ARIA Chart and gained platinum certification. It was one of 20 songs shortlisted for the APRA Song Of The Year along with another of his singles, "All to Myself". "Art Of Love" was also released in New Zealand, peaking at No. 7 and gaining gold accreditation there. The album was released in the US in June, 2010. Guy was chosen as a judge on the 2010 Australian series of The X-Factor and divided his time between Australia and the US for the remainder of the year. He was nominated for six ARIA Music Awards for Like It Like That. He received nominations for "Best Pop Release", "Best Male Artist", "Most Popular Australian Album" and "Most Popular Australian Artist", with "Like It Like That" and "Art of Love" receiving nominations for "Most Popular Single".
2010 Twenty Ten
Guy released a retrospective album on 19 November 2010. The album titled Twenty Ten is a two disc release. The first disc has 18 songs from his previous albums and two new tracks, with the second disc containing acoustic versions of ten of the songs. One of the new tracks, "Who's That Girl" featuring US rapper Eve, was released as the only single. The song is a dance driven electro R&B track, a departure from Guy's usual style. Eve came to Australia in mid November to film her part of the music video, and performed the song with Guy on the X Factor Grand Final. Twenty Ten peaked at No. 4 on the ARIA Album Chart and gained platinum certification. "Who's That Girl" reached No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart and gained 4x platinum accreditation. The album also charted at No. 24 on the New Zealand Charts, with the single reaching No. 1 and achieving platinum accredition there. With the release of this album Guy had completed the terms of his original contract with Sony, but re-signed with them for another long term contract. Sebastian received ARIA Award nominations in 2011 for "Single of the Year", "Best Pop Release" and "Most Popular Australian Artist" and won the "Highest Selling Single" ARIA for "Who's That Girl".
Guy's seventh album Armageddon was released in October 2012, debuting at No. 2 and was certified gold in its second week on the charts. Three singles were released prior to the album. In November 2011 Guy released the lead single "Don't Worry Be Happy. It peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Singles Chart and reached 4x platinum certification. The second single "Gold" peaked at No. 10 with gold certification. "Battle Scars", the third single, features Lupe Fiasco. It debuted at No. 1, Guy's tenth top 10 and sixth No. 1 single in Australia. It spent six weeks at No. 1 and has reached 6x platinum certification, and has also reached No. 2 and platinum in New Zealand. Guy has received ARIA nominations for "Best Male Artist" and "Best Pop Release" for "Battle Scars", and "Song of the Year" for "Don't Worry Be Happy". In September 2012 "Battle Scars" debuted in the United States at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart which ranks songs by radio play, sales and streaming. It also reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart where ranking is purely sales based.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certification|
|2003||Just as I Am||1||3||
|2006||Closer to the Sun||4||—||
|2007||The Memphis Album||3||—||
|2009||Like It like That||6||28||
|"—" denotes releases that were not released in that country.|
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions||Certification||Album|
|2003||Angels Brought Me Here||1||1||—||
||Just as I Am|
|2004||All I Need Is You||1||5||—||
|Out with My Baby||1||—||—||
|2006||Taller, Stronger, Better||3||—||—||
||Closer to the Sun|
|2007||Cover on My Heart||32||—||—|
|2009||Like it Like That||1||30||—||
||Like It Like That|
|Art of Love (featuring Jordin Sparks)||8||7||—||
|2010||All to Myself||51||—||—|
|Never Hold You Down||—||—||—|
|Who's That Girl (featuring Eve)||1||1||—||
|2011||Don't Worry Be Happy||5||26||—||
|2012||Battle Scars (featuring Lupe Fiasco)||1||2||73||
|"—" denotes releases that were not released in that country.|
Awards & recognition
ARIA Music Awards
|2004||Highest Selling Single||"Angels Brought Me Here"||Won|
|Highest Selling Album||Just as I Am||Nominated|
|2005||Highest Selling Album||Beautiful Life||Nominated|
|2008||Highest Selling Album||The Memphis Album||Nominated|
|2010||Best Pop Release||Like It Like That||Nominated|
|Best Male Artist||Himelf||Nominated|
|Most Popular Australian Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Most Popular Australian Album||Like It Like That||Nominated|
|Most Popular Australian Single||"Like It Like That"||Nominated|
|Most Popular Australian Single||"Art Of Love"||Nominated|
|2011||Single of the Year||"Who's That Girl"||Nominated|
|Best Pop Release||"Who's That Girl"||Nominated|
|Highest Selling Single||"Who's That Girl"||Won|
|Most Popular Australian Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|2012||Best Pop Release||"Battle Scars"||Pending|
|Best Male Artist||Himself||Pending|
|Song of the Year||"Don't Worry Be Happy"||Pending|
ARIA No. 1 Chart Awards
|2004||No. 1 Chart Award (Album)||Just as I Am||Won|
|No. 1 Chart Award (Single)||"Angels Brought Me Here"||Won|
|No. 1 Chart Award (Single)||"All I Need Is You"||Won|
|2005||No. 1 Chart Award (Single)||"Out With My Baby"||Won|
|2010||No. 1 Chart Award (Single)||"Like It Like That"||Won|
|2012||No. 1 Chart Award (Single)||"Who's That Girl"||Won|
- Guy will receive a seventh No. 1 Chart Award for "Battle Scars" when the Awards are next held.
|2005||Most performed Australian Work||"All I Need Is You"||Nominated|
|2006||Most Performed Urban Work||"Kryptonite"||Nominated|
|Most Performed Urban Work||"Oh Oh"||Won|
|2010||Song Of The Year||"Art of Love"||Shortlisted|
|2011||Song Of The Year||"All to Myself"||Shortlisted|
|2011||Song Of The Year||"Who's That Girl"||Shortlisted|
|2011||Urban Work of the Year||"Who's That Girl"||Won|
|2012||Urban Work of the Year||"Don't Worry Be Happy"||Shortlisted|
Australian Commercial Radio Awards
|2004||Best New Australian Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|2010||Best Music Special||The Hamish & Andy Show -
Guy Sebastian vs Every other Artist on our Playlist.
Urban Music Awards Australia and New Zealand
|2006||Best R&B Single||"Oh Oh"||Nominated|
|Best Video Clip||"Oh Oh"||Won|
|Best Male Artist||Himself||Won|
|2007||Best R&B Album||Closer To The Sun||Won|
Channel [V] Awards
|2004||[V] Oz Artist of the Year||Himself||Won|
|2011||[V] Oz Artist of the Year||Himself||Final 4|
|2012||[V] Oz Artist of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
Australian GQ Awards
|2012||Man of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
|Solo Artist of the Year||Himself||Won|
POPrepublic.tv IT List Awards
|2006||Australian Male Artist||Himself||Won|
|2010||Single of 2010||"Who's That Girl"||nominated|
|Album of 2010||Twenty Ten||nominated|
|Australian Male Artist||Himself||3rd place|
|Concert Tour of 2010||Like It Like That Tour||nominated|
|2011||Single of 2011||"Don't Worry Be Happy"||Nominated|
|Australian Male Artist||Himself||Won|
Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards
|2004||Fave Music Video||"All I Need Is You"||Won|
|Fave Music Video||"Oh Oh"||Won|
|Fave Music Artist||Himself||Won|
|2006||Fave Music Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|2007||Fave Male Singer||Himself||Nominated|
|2009||So Hot Right Now||Himself||Won|
|2010||Fave Aussie Muso||Himself||Nominated|
|2011||Hall of Slime||Himself||Nominated|
MTV Australia Awards
|2005||Best Pop Video||"Out With My Baby"||Won|
|2007||Best Pop Video||"Elevator Love"||Won|
Dolly Teen Choice Awards
|2006||Most Popular Album||Closer to the Sun||Won|
|2008||Extreme Inspiration Award||For support of World Vision Australia||Won|
|2010||Local Superstar Of The Year||Himself||Nominated|
Australian Club Entertainment Awards
|2007||Original Music Performer||Himself||Nominated|
|Outstanding Club Performer Of The Year||Himself||Nominated|
|2008||Original Music Performer||Himself||Won|
|Outstanding Club Performer Of The Year||Himself||Won|
|2010||Original Music Performer||Himself||Won|
Other awards and recognition
|Year||Award Giving Body||Award||Nominated work||Result|
|2003||ARIA End of Year Charts||Highest Selling Single||"Angels Brought Me Here"||Won|
|2005||Adelaide Advertiser Confidential Awards||Favourite Adelaide Celebrity||Himself||Won|
|2006||Australian Dance Music Awards||Best Urban Act||Himself||Nominated|
|2006||Australia Day Council||Young Australian of the Year||Himself||South Australian finalist|
|2007||Adelaide Advertiser Scene Awards||Local Artist Of The Year||Himself||Won|
|2008||Helpman Awards|| Best Performance - Australian
| Himself -
The Memphis Tour
|2009||Bandit.fm||Single Of The Year||"Like It Like That"||Won|
|2009||ARIA End Of Year Charts|| Highest Selling Australian
|"Like It Like That"||Won|
|2010||ARIA Top Sellers of the Decade 2000/2009||Highest Selling Single||"Angels Brought Me Here"||Won|
|2010||Maddison Magazine Awards||Best Music Act||Himself||Nominated|
|2010||Take 40 Australia||Favourite Artist||Himself||Won|
|2011||Mo Awards||Rock Performer of the Year||Himself||Won|
Official Music Videos
- 2005: "Oh Oh"
- 2006: "Taller Stronger Better"
- 2006: "Elevator Love"
- 2007: 'On A Dusty Road' Documentary featuring Steve Cropper
- 2007: "In The Midnight Hour" featuring The MGs
- 2008: "Gimme Gimme Some Lovin" featuring The MGs
- 2009: "Like it Like That" - Behind the Scenes
- 2009: "Like it Like That"
- 2009: "Art of Love" - Behind the Scenes
- 2009: "Art of Love" featuring Jordin Sparks
- 2010: "All To Myself"
- 2010: "Never Hold You Down"
- 2010: "Who's That Girl" featuring Eve
- 2011: "Don't Worry Be Happy
- 2012: "Gold"
- 2012 "Battle Scars" featuring Lupe Fiasco
- 2012 "Get Along
- Guy Sebastian's first album Just As I Am sold 163,700 copies in its first week in Australia, giving it at the time the "Highest ever album sales in one week for ANY album in Australian chart history*(*includes local, international, solo acts, groups, soundtracks & compilations)." This record held until Susan Boyle's debut album sold nearly 165,000 in the week before Christmas in 2009. Just As I Am's sales eventually topped 480,000 (just short of 7 times Platinum), making it the highest selling album ever by an Australian Idol contestant.
- Guy's debut single "Angels Brought Me Here" was named the highest selling song of the decade 2000/2009 by ARIA in early 2010. "Like It Like That", although only released in August 2009 was named the 29th highest selling song of the decade. His debut album Just As I Am came in the 28th overall, the 9th highest selling Australian Artist album.
- "Angels Brought Me Here" reached No. 1 in Indonesia, the Philipines, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. Just As I Am also reached No. 3 in NZ, with "All I Need Is You" reaching No. 5, and "Art Of Love" No. 7. "Who's That Girl" became Guy's second No. 1 single in New Zealand.
- During 2004 Guy performed as a guest on American Idol, Indonesian Idol, New Zealand Idol (where he was also a guest judge) and the Philipines MTV Awards. And in December 2007 he performed on Asian Idol.
- "Receive The Power", a song co written by Guy and Gary Pinto was chosen as the anthem for World Youth Day 2008. Guy recorded the song with Paulini and it featured right through the 6 days of World Youth Day, both at the events and also in the television broadcasts. Guy and Paulini also sang both the English and international versions at the Final Papal Mass which was attended by 400,000 people. They were also invited to perform Receive The Power at the Pope's farewell the next day.
- Apart from having soul legends The Mgs as his backing band on his 2008 tour, Guy has performed duets with Gina Jeffrys (Country Music Awards), Jimmy Barnes (The Memphis Tour concert at the Sydney State Theatre), Brian McFadden (at one of Brian's concerts in Tasmania), Olivia Newton-John (at the Olivia Newton-John & Friends Concert at the Sydney State Theatre), Delta Goodrem (at the Michael Jackson "This Is It" DVD launch in Sydney), Jordin Sparks (performed "Art Of Love" at three of her US concerts in 2010), Eve (performed "Who's That Girl" during The X-Factor final) and Lupe Fiasco (performed "Battle Scars" on Australia's The X-Factor, and in the US on The Late Show David Letterman).
- Guy is the only Australian male vocalist in Australian music history to achieve six No. 1 singles, and is third overall for all Australian acts. Only Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem have more.
- With 36 platinum and 4 gold accreditations and sales of over 2.6 million in Australia, Guy is the highest selling Australian Idol contestant in the history of the show by a very significant margin. He also has achieved 5 platinum and three gold accreditations in New Zealand.
- Like It Like That the title track from Guy's 5th album was used by the NBC and ABC in America and Channel 7 in Australia for program promotion.
- Guy was currently one of the judges in the Australian version of The X-Factor.
- In November 2010 Guy performed for Oprah Winfrey twice during her trip to Australia to record two episodes of her show at the Sydney Opera House. He performed at her official welcome event in Sydney. Oprah then requested Guy to perform at the private wrap up party for herself and her crew before she left Australia.
- In November 2011 Guy performed at the CHOGM Opening Ceremony, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth 11. He sang "Agents of Change" a song he wrote especially for the event.
- Pop Dirt. Guy Sebastian Releases Debut U.S. Album, Tours West Coast, July 1, 2010
- Daily Telegraph. Guy targets the States, February 15, 2009
- Undercover.com Guy Sebastian To Showcase In Austin, February 13 2009
- Undercover.com Guy Sebastian To Play Sounds Australia SXSW Showcase, February 28 2009
- Undercover Guy Sebastian Wins The Tough SXSW Crowd, March 20, 2009
- Daily Telegraph. Guy Sebastian's hit song will be used for US TV promotion, May 13, 2009
- Adelaide Now. Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods do us proud, January 3rd 2010
- Adelaide Now. Guy Sebastian still a hit with decade's No.1 song , January 7, 2010
- Herald Sun. X Factor to have a nice Guy judge, May 30, 2010