Guy Sebastian

Guy Sebastian


Guy Sebastian official website

Guy Sebastian

Guy Theodore Sebastian (born October 26, 1981) is an Australian singer who won the first series of Australian Idol in 2003. Since winning the competition he has released three albums and six singles, which have all achieved success on the Australian music charts.

Guy Sebastian was born in Klang, Malaysia to a Sri Lankan and Malaysian father, and a mother of Portuguese and English descent who had been raised in India. He moved to Adelaide, South Australia as a child. He started singing at the age of fourteen. After moving to Adelaide, he attended school at King's Baptist Grammar School, a Christian private school. He also attended the Paradise Community Church, one of the largest in Australia with over 5,000 people in attendance, associated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God. While at Paradise, he joined their youth conference band, Planetshakers, and sang as one of the lead singers, touring around Australia and the United States. Sebastian never had any formal voice training but was influenced by artists such as Michael W. Smith and Stevie Wonder.

After giving up University studies to concentrate on music, and while working as a recording engineer and a singing teacher, he decided to enter Australian Idol establishing a fanbase and winning praise from the judges, who also made reference to his afro hairstyle, which became a focal part of his image. The final of Australian Idol in which he competed against Shannon Noll was the most popular program broadcast in Australia during 2003 and the second most popular non-sporting broadcast in Australian television history.

In World Idol he sang "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong which is also on the Australian Idol Final 12 CD and his debut album Just As I Am. He was ranked 7th out of the 10 competitors. There were questions over his song selection for the competition as his new arrangement of "What A Wonderful World" was an unusual version of a classic. However, during the competition series it had been feted as a brilliant arrangement. He was planning to use his rendition of Prince's "When Doves Cry", but there were legal issues with that choice. He is known as an accomplished artist and musician, and his own arrangements of the songs during the competition, together with his unique voice and innate rhythm drew many fans.

The following lists Sebastian's Australian Idol performances.

Adelaide Audition - "Ribbon in the Sky" - (Stevie Wonder)
Top 100 - "Back at One" - (Brian McKnight)
Top 75 - "Over the Rainbow" - (Judy Garland)
Semi Final Group 2 - "What a Wonderful World" - (Louis Armstrong)
Top 12 (70's) - "The Love You Save" - (Jackson Five)
Top 10 (#1 Hits) - "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" - (Bryan Adams)
Top 8 (Aussie Hits) - "You’re the Voice" - (John Farnham)
Top 6 (80's) - "When Doves Cry" - (Prince)
Up, Close & Personal - "When I Get You Alone" - (Thicke)
Top 5 (R&B/Soul) - "Hidden Agenda" - (Craig David)
Top 5 (R&B/Soul) - "Hello" - (Lionel Richie)
Top 4 (Big Band) - "The Way You Look Tonight" - (Frank Sinatra)
Top 4 (Big Band) - "Hit the Road Jack" - (Ray Charles)
Top 3 (60's) - "Can’t Take My Eyes Off You" - (Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons)
Top 3 (60's) - "Climb Every Mountain" - (Julie Andrews)
Final 2 - "I'll Be There" - (Jackson Five)
Final 2 - "Crazy in Love" - (Beyonce Knowles)
Final 2 - "Angels Brought Me Here" – (Finale)

After winning Australian Idol, BMG signed up Guy Sebastian for a record before Christmas, 2003. His first single "Angels Brought Me Here" debuted at #1 on the ARIA Charts. It set an Australian record for the highest first week single sales from a debut and Australian artist. Only the Princess Diana tribute by Elton John sold more singles in its first week of release in Australia. It was certified four times platinum selling in excess of 280,000 copies, being only a limited edition. The album was produced quite quickly in order to be ready for Christmas, however Guy managed to get three of his own songs recorded on the album alongside those provided for him.

Just as I Am was released in December 2003 and debuted at number one on the charts and became the best selling album in Australia during the Summer of 2003. It went onto become certified platinum 6x.

The second single "All I Need Is You", unlike "Angels Brought Me Here", was actually written by Guy himself, and also debuted at number one in the Australian charts. In a message posted on his website, Sebastian said "I think the credibility in having your own stuff makes you as an artist. Credibility is what I've always strived for and I couldn't imagine my first record not having one of my songs on it." He also wrote "I 4 U" and "Something Don't Feel Right" on the album.

His first single "Angels Brought Me Here" reached No. 1 in 4 Asian countries and New Zealand, whilst "All I Need is You" reached no. 2 in Malaysia and No. 5 in New Zealand. He was invited to sing the single as a guest at American Idol in 2004, singing "Angels Brought Me Here" (2005 winner Carrie Underwood sang this song as well). "Kryptonite" also reached Malaysia in 2005 but management never pursued any overseas releases of any later songs.

2004-2005 Beautiful Life

Beautiful Life (2004)In October 2004, Sebastian released Beautiful Life, his second album. This album gave audiences a clearer perspective on his work without the weight of Australian Idol on his shoulders. The album had a more R&B edge to it including a duet with American R&B singer, Mýa. The first single off the album, "Out with My Baby" which was released a few weeks before, peaked at #1 on the ARIA Charts. The follow up singles were both Top 20 successes with "Kryptonite", his second single peaking at #15 and his third single "Oh Oh" reaching #11.

Guy Sebastian performed at the 20th Anniversary SAFM Sky Show in Adelaide in front of over approximately 150,000 people along with Slinkee Minx. This was one of the largest open air concerts held in Australia in 2005.

On September 16, 2006, Guy released "Taller, Stronger, Better", the first single from his third album Closer to the Sun. Prior to its release, he performed the song on the Top 24 show of the fourth season of Australian Idol. The single debuted at #3 on the ARIA charts. Sebastian has stated that the album will be more rock-orientated. Some tracks that appear on the album were premiered at the free concert at Federation Square on the 27th of September. Those tracks were "Out of Place", "Elevator Love" and "Can't Stop a River". Sebastian won the publicly voted Fave Aussie gong at the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Sydney, for the second year in succession. The big award of the night, Guy also had the honour of being presented with his statue by none other than Bindi Irwin. The win topped off an incredible night for Guy, who also performed a brand new song, "Elevator Love", earlier in the night. The album debuted at #4 on the ARIA Album charts and was certified gold status in its second week.

Other Projects

World Vision

Guy Sebastian visiting Ugandan children in Africa as role as World Vision ambassadorIn 2005, Sebastian was appointed Ambassador for World Vision. In August of that year he visited Uganda to shoot a documentary An Idol in Africa for a Network Ten television special which was broadcast on December 3, 2005. He highlighted the issues of poverty and civil war and its effect on the population.

It Takes Two
In 2006 Sebastian was a performer on the Seven Network's weekly musical competition program, "It Takes Two", in which performers from non-musical fields are teamed with professional singers, to perform a duet each week. A panel of four judges score each performance, and viewers vote by phone or SMS for their favourite duet. Guy Sebastian's partner was three-time Australian Olympic swimmer Sarah Ryan.

On 30 July, the celebrities chose a song that their partners were famous for. Sarah Ryan chose Sebastian's debut hit Angels bought me here to perform on the night. On 6 August, they participated in the final of the competition where they were the runners up, behind Erika Heynatz and David Hobson.

Sebastian also performed a new song titled "Taller, Stronger, Better" from his upcoming third album. The reception of this song (Gary Pinto, Phil Turcio and Guy Sebastian) was so overwhelming that public reaction required release of this as his first single from his forthcoming third album.

Personal life
Sebastian has been public about his strong Christian beliefs and has spoken of plans to release a gospel album for the American market in 2006. He has a strong involvement with several large Australian charitable organisations and was a nominee for the "Young Australian of the Year".

In September 2006, he admitted to being at the receiving end of homophobic remarks, derogotary comments regarding his music career and physical harassment made by members of the public. Sebastian, who is heterosexual, was subjected to having his car graffitied with homosexual epithets and eggs being thrown at his house. According to reports, the comments offended him as "30% of his friends are gay". Sebastian stated that the incident affected his work on the third album to the extent that he considered quitting being a singer altogether. (Credit: Wikipedia).