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The 15 Best Australian Singers of All Time, From Country Legends to Rap Stars

best australian singers
The Sydney Opera House image by Caleb Russell on Unsplash

Australia, known as the lucky country, has certainly been blessed with a huge amount of talented singers that have emerged from its sunny shores.

Who, then, are the best Australian singers of all time? Find out in our article, which judges based on technical skill, how iconic each artist’s songs are, and their ability to captivate audiences as a performer.

The 15 Best Australian Singers of All Time


15. Rosé

Blackpink megastar Rosé, who was raised down under, is definitely one of the most famous Australian singers in 2023.

She is famed as a beauty and fashion icon, as well as for the talents she displays as main vocalist and lead dancer in Blackpink.

The band’s long string of mega-hits includes “Kill This Love,” “How You Like That,” and “Shut Down.”

Without a doubt, Rosé is one of the best Australian singers.

Related: BLACKPINK Members: Everything You Need to Know About the Sensational Korean Girl Group 


14. Nick Cave

The Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds frontman carved out a singular place in Australian music with his raw baritone and willingness to go boldly where few other musicians would dare.

His voice is raw and intense, and his songwriting stands on its own for its creativity and unique approach.

One of the best Australian singers in the indie rock realm, Nick Cave essentials include “O Children,” “Into My Arms,” and “Red Right Hand.”


13. Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly has penned some of the greatest tunes in the Australian songbook.

The folk and pop-rock performer is best known for his songwriting and guitar playing. 

His honest storytelling style is behind such classics as “To Her Door” and “Before Too Long.”

Kelly’s breakout 1988 U.S. hit “Dumb Things.”


12. Peter Garrett

Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett probably wouldn’t make the cut on vocal technique alone, but few Australian singers have made as great an impact with their voice as he has.

Garrett co-wrote many of the band’s iconic anthems, and who can forget his outlandish dance moves and fiery stage presence.

Garrett and the band have a long history of activism, which is often represented in their songs, some of the finest of which are “Blue Sky Mine,” “Beds Are Burning,” and “The Dead Heart.”

Related: 19 Best Pop Songs for Your Playlist 


11. Kevin Parker

Australian singer and Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker has produced some of the most forward-thinking and unique pop and rock music to come out of the last two decades.

In addition to his distinctive, fragile tenor and falsetto vocals, Parker is known for his ability to produce his own records and play almost all the instrumental parts on them himself.

Tame Impala’s forward-thinking records have produced modern classics such as “The Less I Know The Better,” “Eventually,” “Borderline,” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.”

Many have wondered: who is the number one band in Australia? If you’re talking of all time, AC/DC would have to take the crown there, but in the last two decades, Tame Impala would have a pretty good claim for that spot.


10. Barry Gibb

One of the best Australian singers of the 60s, 70s, and beyond, Bee Gees vocalist Barry Gibb provided the high-altitude vocals for many of the band’s greatest hits.

The pop act dominated the disco era in the late ’70s, and it’s a real testament to their talent that Barry not only performed but also wrote the band’s classic hits with his brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb.

A few of the many Bee Gees chart-toppers include “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “Night Fever.”

Related: The 30 Best 70s Songs: Classic Rock, Punk, Disco, and Some Serious Wild Cards 


9. Keith Urban

Australian-American country performer Keith Urban is a powerhouse songwriter, guitarist, and of course, a hugely talented vocalist.

The Australian singer’s career really took off following his move to the U.S. and his American solo debut album in 1999, which was the first of eight consecutive U.S. Platinum records.

Urban’s hits include “One Too Many,” “Somebody Like You,” and “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

Related: The 15 Best Male Country Singers of All Time: A Definitive List 


8. Olivia Newton-John

Actress and pop star Olivia Newton-John was the darling of Australian music, having collected four Grammy Awards and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in her long career.

Newton-John lit up the silver screen with her appearance in Grease in 1978 alongside John Travolta.

The Australian singer performed on the soundtrack for the movie, creating her hit duets with Travolta on “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” with the former being one of the highest-selling singles of all time.

That she is one of the best Australian singers is beyond a doubt.


7. Sia

Adelaide-born pop/electronica vocalist Sia is one of the most successful Australian artists to break out in the last decade.

The songwriter has been on top of the heap of Australian pop singers since her breakout sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, hit the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200. 

Many people wonder: who is the most streamed Australian artist? While this changes for whatever period you consider, at the height of her fame in November 2022, Sia was the most streamed Australian artist worldwide.

Related: The Best Female Singers of All Time: No Auto Tune Allowed 


6. Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, who comes in at #6 on our best Australian singers list, is Australia’s favorite rock and roller.

Barnes’ instantly recognizable gravelly voice and a larger-than-life personality and stage presence have catapulted him to massive fame in his home country and around the world. 

He is known for fronting one of the greatest Australian rock acts, Cold Chisel, as well as having a successful solo career.

Memorable tracks from Barnes include “Khe Sanh,” “Flame Trees,” and “Working Class Man.”


5. Daniel Johns

Newcastle’s Daniel Johns is one of the best Australian singers, songwriters, and frontmen ever.

Cutting his teeth with alternative rock act Silverchair and later pivoting to a more esoteric pop solo career, Johns’ pipes and songwriting chops produced some of the most iconic anthems in the last few decades, such as “Freak,” “Tomorrow” and “Miss You Love.”

Many fans still consider his raw output with Silverchair to be his most enduring material, but his solo work following the band’s dissolution in 2011 has continued to display his brilliant talent.


4. Kylie Minogue

What Australian artist has sold the most albums? As far as solo artists go, the answer is Kylie Minogue, with 80 million worldwide sales.

Australia’s Princess of Pop is one of the most recognizable female Australian singers. She has shown remarkable versatility, first breaking out as an actress and then enjoying chart success with her 6x Platinum debut album Kylie in 1988. 

Minogue enjoyed a huge career revival and reinvention with 2001’s Fever, which sold six million records worldwide.

She is best known for dance floor hits like “Can’t Get You out of My Head,” “In Your Eyes,” and “Spinning Around.”

Related: 23 Facts About Taylor Swift That Everyone Should Know 


3. John Farnham

Who is Australia’s highest-selling pop artist? As far as a single album goes, John Farnham’s Whispering Jack‘s 1,730,000 total sales is the highest, although Kylie Minogue has higher total sales across her career.

Iconic songwriter John Farnham is a superbly talented vocalist and performer. His strident tenor vocals powered countless pop hits throughout his career. 

His finest hour remains his aforementioned 1986 studio album Whispering Jack, which is certified x24 Platinum in Australia. 

His hit singles include “You’re the Voice,” “Two Strong Hearts,” and “A Touch of Paradise.”


2. Bon Scott

AC/DC frontman Bon Scott embodied the hard-living rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle like no other. His powerhouse vocals drove the greatest Australian rock band.

Scott passed at the young age of 33 on 19 February 1980, after just one more night of drinking went a little too far, but his rock ‘n’ roll legacy will never die.

One of the greatest male Australian singers, Scott remains the gold standard for rock frontman.

Scott’s best songs include “Highway to Hell,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” and “T.N.T..”

Who is Australia’s biggest-selling band? The answer, without a doubt, is AC/DC, as they have shifted an unparalleled 200 million albums.

Related: Success, Death, and Rock & Roll: Facts About the Legendary Australian Band AC/DC 


1. Michael Hutchence

#1 on our best Australian singers list is INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.

The late great rocker had a powerful voice that tugged at the heartstrings through several of the greatest hits of the ’80s and ’90s.

His baritone vocals powered Aussie pop-rock institution INXS, which sold 75 million albums and counting, until his untimely death in 1997 at age 37. 

Classics like “Need You Tonight,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” and “Don’t Change” showcased his unmistakable and passionate vocals.

The Australian singer also oozed charisma and stage presence and lived the life of a true rock ‘n’ roller, dating supermodels, pop stars, and actresses.

Who is the most famous singer in Australia? Michael Hutchence is one of the top answers to that question, although depending on who you ask, you might also hear Kylie Minogue, John Farnham, or Bon Scott.

But, for our purposes, Hutchence is the best Australian singer of all time.

You might also enjoy:

The 14 Best Rappers of All Time 

The 16 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time 

The 50 Best Country Songs from Jimmie Rodgers to Morgan Wallen 

Written by Anna Paulson


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