Kate Ceberano

Kate Ceberano
Background information
Born (1966-11-17) 17 November 1966
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres pop, soul, jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actor
Instruments Singing, Piano, Drums
Years active 1983–present
Labels Sony Music, ABC Music
Associated acts I'm Talking (1983–87), Models, Wendy Matthews
Website kateceberano.com

Catherine "Kate" Ceberano AM[1] (/səˈbrɑːn/, born 17 November 1966) is an Australian singer. She achieved success in the soul, jazz and pop genres, as well as in her brief forays into musicals—with Jesus Christ Superstar—and film. She has also achieved success as a songwriter, with the hit "Pash" receiving a gold sales certification in 1998.

Ceberano was the artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Early life

Ceberano was born in Melbourne, Australia to an American father of Portuguese Filipino descent[2] and an Australian mother. Her father is karate master Tino Ceberano, from Hawaii (his father was of Portuguese origin and emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii; his name was Sobirano, but because of his illiteracy the spelling was changed on arrival).[3] Her maternal forebears were some of the earliest settlers and government officials in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.[2]


Ceberano first came to prominence singing back-up vocals with Melbourne, Australia band The Models. The band produced a Top 5 album in 1985 called Out of Mind, Out of Sight, before Ceberano found fame with her funk band I'm Talking. I'm Talking are acknowledged as the band "who pioneered New York-style art pop in Australia during the Jurassic Period of Pub Rock". The group was managed by Ken West, now known for being a co-founder of the Big Day Out events. The group's debut album, Bear Witness, included three top ten singles and achieved a platinum sales certification. Ceberano won the Best Female Vocalist award at the 1986 Countdown Awards.[4] After the debut album, the group broke up and Ceberano went solo. It was then, in the late 80s, that she earned a reputation for her soul, jazz and pop repertoire. Radio stations labelled her as having "one of the greatest voices our music industry has ever produced".

Ceberano's first solo album was the live recording Kate Ceberano and her Septet, released in March 1987. The following year, she collaborated with Wendy Matthews on the album You've Always Got The Blues, which was the soundtrack to the ABC Television show Stringer. The album peaked at No. 7 on the ARIA charts and earned her a nomination for the ARIA Award for Best Female Artist in 1988.

In 1989, Ceberano released her album Brave. The album was the 20th highest-selling album in Australia in the 1980s[5] and spawned four singles, including "Bedroom Eyes", which became the fifth highest-selling single in Australia in 1989 and the highest-selling single by an Australian artist that year. At the 1989 ARIA awards, she won the ARIA Award for Best Female Artist, as well as "Highest Selling Single" for "Bedroom Eyes".[6] At the end of 1990, she received three Mo Awards for Jazz Performer, Female Rock Performer and Contemporary Concert Performer of the Year.[4]

Ceberano contributed "Nature Boy" to the The Crossing soundtrack, before releasing the albums Like Now in 1990 and Think About It! in 1991. In 1992, she joined the cast of the Australian national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which she performed the role of Mary Magdalene. The album was the highest-selling album in Australia in 1992, certified four times platinum.[7] Two singles were released from the album, including "Everything's Alright" (with John Farnham and Jon Stevens), which peaked at No. 6 on the ARIA charts.[8] Ceberano won a Logie Award for Most Popular Music Video in 1993 for "Everything's Alright". "I Don't Know How To Love Him" was the second single and won Ceberano another nomination for Best Female Artist in 1993. Ceberano travelled to New York and recorded a number of songs which were to appear of an album with the working title of Globe. The album was scrapped by label Elektra Records. However, a number of recordings from this session appears on her 1996 album Blue Box.

Ceberano followed this success with her own late-night cabaret-style show on ABC TV called Kate Ceberano and Friends (1993-1994), the album from which went gold, peaking at No. 19 in 1994.[9] In 1996 she released her next solo album, Blue Box, which also went gold and saw her nominated for another Best Female Artist at the ARIA awards.[10] In 1997 she wrote and released what has become an Australian pop classic, "Pash", a three-minute pop song which went platinum and established Ceberano as one of Australia's leading female songwriters. The subsequent album Pash went to No. 5 on the ARIA charts, was certified gold and produced the singles "Pash" and "Love Is Alive". Richard Wilkins of the Today Show referred to her as "Australian Music Royalty".

Ceberano returned with her 2003 studio album The Girl Can Help It. In 2007, Ceberano saluted the 1980s with her cover album Nine Lime Avenue, which was recorded in three weeks while she was on television show Dancing with the Stars. The album was a commercial success, peaking at No. 4[11] and gave Ceberano her first 'top 5' album since 1989's "Brave". Ceberano toured in late 2007 before recording another cover album, released in 2008, titled So Much Beauty, which peaked at No. 9 in Australia.

Ceberano released three albums in 2009: the first is a collaborative jazz album that was recorded with Mark Isham, titled "Bittersweet", which earned Ceberano a nomination at the 2009 ARIA awards; the second, an indie album with Dallas Cosmas, titled Dallas et Kate; and in November, Ceberano released her first Christmas album, simply titled Merry Christmas, which was certified gold.[12]

In 2010, Ceberano was crowned Queen of Moomba, while Molly Meldrum was crowned King.[13]

Ceberano launched a studio album in August 2013, titled Kensal Road, and it was her first album of new material in ten years. The album was preceded by the single release "Magnet" and Ceberano toured nationally in October 2013.[14][15]

In May 2016, a 3-disc Anthology album will be released.


In 1993, Ceberano hosted her own late-night cabaret-style show on ABC TV called Kate Ceberano And Friends.[16]

In 2005, Ceberano was a judge in the inaugural season of X Factor Australia, along with Mark Holden and John Reid, before joining Dancing with the Stars in 2007, of which she was crowned champion. Late that year, Ceberano participated in series 2 of It Takes Two, where she mentored Australian swimmer Daniel Kowalski. She returned in 2008 for series 3 and mentored Australian Football League (AFL) player Russell Robertson, who would go on to be runner-up.

In January 2008, Ceberano's family tree and career was documented in SBS's Who Do You Think You Are? (series 1/ episode 2).

From January 2011, Ceberano was a presenter on the Nine Network's Getaway television series, as well as a relief host for Kerri-Anne Kennerley's morning program also on the Nine Network. In November 2011, Ceberano was announced as the host of the Nine Network's television series Excess Baggage.[17]


Ceberano made her acting debut in a feature film, playing Jenna in Dust Off The Wings, directed by her husband, Lee Rogers.[18] In 1999, Ceberano starred in the film Molokai: The Story of Father Damien, which was directed by Paul Cox.[19]

Other work

As the Berlei Curves ambassador, Ceberano launched the debut Berlei Curves Spring Summer 2010 collection and remained in this role in September 2012.[20]

Ceberano was appointed the Victorian Ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. As the Victorian Ambassador, she helps to raise funds and awareness about breast cancer. Ceberano explained: "I like to be as involved as I possibly can in causes I feel strongly about. Yes I am a musician, but if I can do more to help others then I will."[4]

From August to October 2012, Ceberano played Bloody Mary in the Bartlett Sher directed revival of the musical South Pacific throughout the Australian east coast. The show also featured Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Lisa McCune and Eddie Perfect.[21]

In April 2014, Ceberano released her memoir, I'm Talking: My Life, My Words, My Music, through book publisher Hachette Australia. Ceberano co-wrote the book with Tom Gilling.[22]

On 3 October 2015, Ceberano sang the Australian national anthem prior to the AFL Grand Final at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia.[23]

Personal life

In February 1996, Ceberano married Lee Rogers after an almost four-year engagement. They married at Mietta O'Donnell's Queenscliff Hotel on Port Phillip Bay.[24]

On 6 January 2004, Ceberano gave birth to her first child, a daughter named "Gypsy".[25][26] Ceberano is a Scientologist.[27]


Studio albums

Live albums

Soundtrack appearances

Compilation albums

See also


Order of Australia

In the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours, Ceberano was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts, particularly music, as a singer, songwriter and entertainer, and to charitable organisations.[28]

ARIA Awards

Ceberano has been nominated nine times for the ARIA Award for Best Female Artist, winning twice. Only Kylie Minogue has been nominated more times for this award.

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1988 N/A Best Female Artist Nominated
1989 You've Always Got The Blues Best Female Artist Won
Best Adult Contemporary Album (with Wendy Matthews) Nominated
Best Jazz Album (with Wendy Matthews) Nominated
1990 "Bedroom Eyes" Highest Selling Single Won
Brave Album of the Year Nominated
Best Female Artist Won
1991 Like Now Best Female Artist Nominated
1992 Think About It! Best Female Artist Nominated
1993 "I Don't Know How to Love Him" Best Female Artist Nominated
1994 "You've Got A Friend" Best Female Artist Nominated
1996 "Change" Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated
1998 "Pash" Best Female Artist Nominated
2009 Bittersweet Best Jazz Album (with Mark Isham) Nominated

Helpmann Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2008 Nine Lime Avenue tour Best Australian Contemporary Concert Nominated

Other awards

Film and television


Television highlights

Charity work and activism

Ceberano joined other Australian public figures in support of the "Oscar's Law" campaign. Initiated in 2010, the campaign protests the factory farming of companion animals (the campaign is named after a dog named "Oscar") and a prominent slogan reads, "Break The Puppy Trade—Don't buy puppies from pet shops". Other advocates include Mick Molloy (comedian), Missy Higgins (musician) and Paul Dempsey (musician).[30]


  1. "Queen's Birthday Honours List: Kate Ceberano always in tune to help the needy". Herald Sun. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Kate Ceberano Series 1, Episode 2". SBS. SBS. 2011–2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  3. Lawrence Money, "Lunch with Kate Ceberano", The Age, 21 September 2013, Life&Style, p. 3
  4. 1 2 3 "KATE CEBERANO". The Harbour Agency. The Harbour Agency Pty Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  5. "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1989". ARIA. ARIA – Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  6. "Winner by year". ARIA. ARIA – Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  7. "ARIA Charts Accreditations End of Year Charts New Australasian Releases ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1992". ARIA. ARIA – Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  8. "JOHN FARNHAM, KATE CEBERANO & JON STEVENS – EVERYTHING'S ALRIGHT (SONG)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  9. "KATE CEBERANO – KATE CEBERANO & FRIENDS (ALBUM)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  11. "KATE CEBERANO – NINE LIME AVENUE (ALBUM)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  12. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". ARIA. ARIA – Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  13. Evonne Barry (16 February 2010). "Molly Meldrum and Kate Ceberano the new king and queen of Moomba". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  14. Kathy McCabe (7 August 2013). "Kate Ceberano launches Kensal Road album and will play drums on tour". news.com.au. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  15. "Kate Ceberano Australian Tour". Time Out Perth. Time Out Group Ltd. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  16. "Kate Ceberano – Kate Ceberano & Friends". Discogs. Discogs. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  17. "Kate Ceberano to host Nine's Excess Baggage: report". Media Spy. Media Spy. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  18. Paul Fischer (1997–2014). "ROGERS, LEE : DUST OFF THE WINGS". Urban Cinefile. Urban Cinefile. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  19. "Kate Ceberano". Debate.org. Debate.org. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  20. "News – David Jones 'Vogue Night Out'". Berlei. Berlei. September 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  21. "South Pacific: Monthly Archives, April, 2012, Stellar Cast", Opera Australia, 29 April 2012, accessed 26 May 2013
  22. "I'm Talking My life, my words, my music". Hachette Australia. Hachette Australia. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  23. "AFL Grand Final 2015: Kate Ceberano forgets national anthem lyrics". Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  24. Ceberano, Kate (2014). I'm Talking. Sydney, Australia: Hachette. ISBN 978-0-7336-3023-1.
  25. "Kate Ceberano's quiet birth". EBSCO Host Connection. EBSCO Publishing. 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  26. "VIP mum Kate Ceberano". motherInc.com.au. motherInc. 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  27. "Kate Ceberano awarded Church of Scientology's Freedom Medal at lavish ceremony". Daily Mail. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  28. "Members in the General Division in the Order of Australia (A-L)" (PDF). The Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. 13 June 2016. p. 14. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  29. "Showing all editions for 'Love Della'". WorldCat. WorldCat. 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  30. "Home". Oscar's law. Oscar's Law. 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
Preceded by
Anthony Koutoufides & Natalie Lowe
Dancing with the Stars (Australia) winner
Season 6 (Early 2007 with John Paul Collins)
Succeeded by
Bridie Carter & Craig Monley
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