Natalie Imbruglia

"Imbruglia" redirects here. For the Australian indie rock singer-songwriter, younger sister of Natalie, see Laura Imbruglia.
Natalie Imbruglia

Imbruglia at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Born Natalie Jane Imbruglia
(1975-02-04) 4 February 1975
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian (1975–)
British (2013–)
Occupation Singer-songwriter, actress, model, artist
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Daniel Johns (m. 2003–08)
Relatives Laura Imbruglia (sister)

Musical career

Genres Pop rock
Instruments Vocals

Natalie Jane Imbruglia (/ɪmˈbrliə/; Italian: [imˈbruʎʎa]; born 4 February 1975) is an Australian singer-songwriter, model and actress. In the early 1990s, she played Beth Brennan in the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Three years after leaving the programme, she began a singing career with her hit cover of Ednaswap's song "Torn".

Her subsequent album, Left of the Middle (1997), sold 7 million copies worldwide.[1] Further releases, White Lilies Island (2001) and Counting Down the Days (2005), did not sell as well, although the latter became number one in the UK. In 2007 she made Glorious: The Singles 97–07, a hits compilation featuring the single "Glorious", which peaked at 23 in the UK singles chart. Since 1997 Imbruglia has sold 10 million album copies.

She co-starred in the 2003 film Johnny English and was leading actress in the 2009 film Closed for Winter.

On 3 December 2014, Imbruglia announced plans to release a newly recorded album of songs originally performed by male artists. The album, Male, her first since 2009's Come To Life, was released in July 2015, and will be followed by an album of original material.

Life and career

1975–94: Early life and career beginnings

Imbruglia was born on 4 February 1975, in Sydney, Australia, second of four daughters of Maxene (née Anderson) and Elliot Imbruglia. Her father is of Italian descent (a Sicilian from Lipari who emigrated to Australia with his family at age 5).[2] Imbruglia grew up in Berkeley Vale, New South Wales, between Sydney and Newcastle. At 15, she moved to Sydney with her family[2] and studied ballet, tap and highland dancing, hoping to make a career of it.

Imbruglia appeared in Australian television commercials for Coca-Cola and the Australian snack Twisties. She left school at the age of 16, to pursue acting. She secured a role as Beth Brennan on the Australian soap opera Neighbours.[3] By the end of her second year, she left the show to move to London in 1994.[2] She met Anne Barret, who became her manager and convinced her to record a demo of four songs.[2] She signed a record deal with BMG, after a demo of "Torn" impressed RCA Records.

1997–2000: Left of the Middle and international breakthrough

Imbruglia's first international single, "Torn" (originally recorded by Lis Sørensen as "Brændt"), was a cover of an Ednaswap song. It reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in November 1997,[4] number one on airplay around the world and number one on the Billboard Airplay chart for 14 weeks. It sold more than one million copies in the United Kingdom alone. As of 2011, 'Torn' was the most played song on Australian radio since 1990, played 300,500 times since 1998, an average of 75 a day, based on data compiled by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).[5]

It was released as a radio single in the US, but not on CD. The single was on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart for 14 weeks. At the time, singles not released commercially could not be on the overall Hot 100 chart (combined sales and airplay). By the time the policy changed in late 1998, "Torn" was heading down the charts, so its peak on the Hot 100 ended at 42. The single also topped the Top 40 Mainstream/CHR Pop and Adult Top 40 charts.

In October 1997, it broke the airplay record in the UK (more than 2000 plays) for six weeks. It was No. 1 for 14 weeks in the UK radio chart, equaled only by Simply Red's "Fairground". It was the No. 1 radio single in the US from March to July 1998, knocked to No. 2 by The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris".

Rick Dees, in his Top 40 Chart show, named "Torn" as the 'number one radio single of 1990s' in the 2000 Millennium Countdown show broadcast from KIIS-FM on New Year's Eve.

Imbruglia appeared with David Armand midway through his 'interpretative dance' to sing Torn at Amnesty International's The Secret Policeman's Ball (2006).

Imbruglia's debut album Left of the Middle was on 8 December 1997. It sold 350,000 in the UK three weeks after release and was certified platinum. It has sold 7 million copies and is the highest selling debut album by a pop/rock/alternative female artist, more than Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple and Meredith Brooks combined in its first week according to Billboard. The second single in the UK after "Torn" was "Big Mistake", which debuted at number two. "Wishing I Was There" was less successful, reaching 19. Wishing I Was There" on UK radio peaked at 2 in summer 1998, and in the US peaked at 14 on the Top 40 Show. The final single from Left of the Middle was "Smoke", the reception more divided. It was a hit in the UK and made the top 5, while in Australia it missed the top 40. Eventually, the album became a million-seller after charting well in many countries and entering the Top 10 in the US and UK. In 1999, she recorded a cover of Never Tear Us Apart by INXS with Tom Jones which appeared on his album Reload.

She received an MTV Award for Best New Artist in 1998, and three constitutive Grammy nominations in 1999. That year, she won two Brit Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Female. She was ranked No. 11 on Rock of the Net's single artists of the year in 1998, and No. 76 in 2001. Imbruglia tied up her four-album deal with BMG after her compilation album, Glorious: The Singles 1997–2007.

Left of the Middle was certified platinum by RIAA within four weeks of release (3 April 1998) and was 2X platinum in November 1998.

2001–04: White Lilies Island

Imbruglia's next album, White Lilies Island, in 2001, was named after where she lived beside the River Thames at Windsor. Imbruglia co-wrote every track over three years. The album's first single, "That Day", was stylistically different from her singles but did not reach the UK Top 10. In the US, "Wrong Impression" was the first single and charted in the Hot 100 Singles and adult contemporary charts. In the UK it did slightly better than That Day. "Beauty on the Fire", the final single, barely entered charts worldwide, and did not make the top 50 in Australia. The album, briefly notorious in the Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal, sold 1 million but did not repeat the success of Left of the Middle.

Imbruglia (centre) in Naples, Italy, in 2005

Imbruglia's third album was in November 2003. The record label refused to release it due to it being too rock and not radio-friendly. She was given songs to record with Swedish pop producers, Bloodshy & Avant, but refused. She and the record label separated at the beginning of 2004. Four months later she signed with Brightside Recordings, formed by a former Innocent Records executive, Hugh Goldsmith.

2005–08: Counting Down the Days

In April 2005, Imbruglia's third album Counting Down the Days had "Shiver" as its first single. "Shiver" became her longest running single in the UK since "Torn." It topped UK airplay charts for several weeks, reaching eighth in the UK. It became the most played song of 2005. Counting Down The Days became her first album to reach the top spot on the album charts.

"Sanctuary" was the second single from the album and singles sent to radio stations. The decision was later changed to the title track "Counting Down the Days", with stations asked to play the album version, because the radio mix was not finished. The single on 25 July did not have as much success in the singles chart as "Shiver," although it reignited interest in its album and received airplay in the UK. Due to the single, the album re-entered the top 40 in the UK charts.

Imbruglia made a small European tour (her first since Left of the Middle) in late October and November. Though the album never entered UK Top 40 again, several concerts, especially in London, sold out.

The album was the 100th best-selling album in 2005, selling 204,877 copies in the UK .[6]

Imbruglia started on her fourth album in late 2005. In mid-2007 plans changed and her record company released a compilation of Imbruglia's 10 years in music. The only single from the album – "Glorious" premiered in BBC Radio 1 on the Chris Moyles Show. The Singles Collection debuted at 5 in the UK, including the single "Glorious" as well as a DVD of Imbruglia's videos. The album sold 600,000 copies.

2009–14: Come to Life, musical hiatus and stage debut

Imbruglia in Bucharest, Romania, in 2008

Imbruglia parted with her label[7] and ended her association with Brightside Recordings. She obtained the rights to songs recorded for the album and planned to record on her own label, Malabar Records.[8] Songs on her first record were co-written with Ben Hillier, Dave McCracken, Daniel Johns, Gary Clark, Jamie Hartman, Paul Harris and Shep Solomon. Some tracks were produced by Hillier and mixed by Danton Supple, who collaborated on White Lilies Island.

According to The Sun, Imbruglia and Chris Martin of Coldplay collaborated on "a string of tracks likely to feature on her album".[9] Martin confirmed the information. In an interview he said he had asked Imbruglia to record one of the band's songs adding "we've given her the best Coldplay song of all time [. . .] she sounds [. . .] brilliant on it. I think she has a very unique talent and an incredibly unique voice."[10] She said she recorded two songs written by him saying "if Chris Martin calls with two songs, you don't think, you say, 'Yes'."[11] The songs were mixed by Michael Brauer Two songs – "My God" and "Apologise" – appeared on the Internet . The second was written with Jamie Hartman of Ben's Brother and will not be on her fourth album.[12] A version of "Apologise" by Ben's Brother was released instead in 2009 as the first single from their second album, Battling Giants. Tracks confirmed to be part of the album include "Fun", "Lukas", and "Want", which were mixed by Michael Brauer.[13] The music video for a pre-single track, "Wild About It", was filmed in London on 25 July 2009.[14]

The first single from Come to Life, "Want", was written by Imbruglia, Daniel Johns (credited Kat Kourtney), Gary Clark, and Chris Martin,[15] and released on 28 September 2009 had poor chart performances.[16] On 3 August 2009 the music video of "Wild About It" was released.

Come to Life was released on 2 October 2009 in Australia, and in Europe on 12 October 2009. The UK release was planned for 3 May 2010, with a single "Scars". The video for "Scars" was filmed on 26 February 2010. "Scars" was sent to radio in the UK on 22 March 2010 but the single was cancelled. Her album was also cancelled in the UK.

After Come to Life, Imbruglia moved to Los Angeles and hired acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. She appeared in three movies.[17] In April 2014 she made her stage debut in an adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn’s Things We Do For Love at the Theatre Royal, Bath.[18][19]

2014–present: Male

On 3 December 2014, Imbruglia signed with Sony Masterworks and planned to make her first album in five years, covering famous songs by a range of male artists.[20] The first single is a cover of "Instant Crush", originally by Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas. Male was released on 31 July 2015, her fifth studio album.[21][22]

Other ventures

In May 2010, Imbruglia became a judge on the second season of the Australian version of The X Factor. She mentored the Under 25 Girls category, in which her final act Sally Chatfield was the runner up of the series. In 2011, she didn't return for the third season and was replaced by Natalie Bassingthwaighte.[23]

In June that year, Imbruglia appeared on the original British version of the show, where she was a guest judge for the Birmingham auditions on its seventh series.

In 2016 Imbruglia was cast in the second season of SBS TV series First Contact.[24]

Personal life

Imbruglia performs in Amsterdam, 1 November 2005

Relationships and citizenship

On New Year's Eve 2003, Imbruglia and her boyfriend of three years, Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, married in a beach ceremony in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia. While Imbruglia lived mainly in Windsor, England, Johns lived in Newcastle, Australia.[25] They announced their divorce in January 2008, saying they lived too far apart.[26] Imbruglia dated American actor David Schwimmer.[27]

Natalie Imbruglia is the elder sister of singer-songwriter Laura Imbruglia.

Imbruglia became a naturalised British citizen on 28 February 2013.[28]


Public image

Imbruglia was named sixth most naturally beautiful woman of all time in 2004.[30] Audrey Hepburn topped the poll by fashion editors, model agents and make-up artists. She was 90th of the VH1 100 Sexiest Artists.[31]

Imbruglia has tattoos of Sanskrit/Hindi inscription "Shreya" on her neck, a Chinese word for courage on her left foot and Sanskrit Aum on her lower back.

She said she had never had plastic surgery but that "I wouldn't rule it out because I don't know how I'll feel in the future." She said she would like to "grow old gracefully, wrinkles and all".[32]

Besides modelling for L'Oréal, Imbruglia also modelled Sass and Bide's "The Mad Ones" dress to raise money for cancer research.



Year Film Role Notes and awards
2003 Johnny English Lorna Campbell Imbruglia made her big screen debut as an actress in the 2003 British comedy, Johnny English. Acting alongside Rowan Atkinson, she played a supporting role as Lorna Campbell. The movie also featured another musical talent, Bond, in a cameo appearance. Internationally, the movie did well despite negative reviews from critics. It topped box offices in 22 countries and grossed more than $160 mil. worldwide.[33]
2009 Closed for Winter Elise Silverston Imbruglia's second film appearance is in Closed for Winter, based on Georgia Blain's book of the same name. The movie was filmed in Adelaide and premiered at the 2009 Adelaide Film Festival to generally positive reviews. It was released in Australia in April 2009.
2013 Underdogs Michelle Stratton Set in rural Ohio, the birthplace of football, Underdogs is the story of a small-town high school football team destined to play their cross-town rival, a perennial powerhouse, while standing up for an entire community.
2014 Among Ravens Madison The film concerns a group of friends whose lives are changed by their encounter with a strange nature photographer.
2015 Little Loopers Kristen Wright Directed by Jimmy Valdez, Natalie joins Boyd Kestner who plays a once-promising golfer who reluctantly coaches kids as part of his community service . Things look up for him when he meets the organisation's director played by Natalie.
Year Show Role Notes and awards
1992–1994 Neighbours Beth Brennan Imbruglia made her first regular TV appearance as the character Beth Brennan in the popular Australian soap Neighbours at the age of 16 in 1991.
1997 Law of the Land Faye Watson Imbruglia starred in an episode entitled 'Late Kill' in the Crime Series.
1998 Saturday Night Live Musical Guest/Herself
2002 Legend of the Lost Tribe Koala Imbruglia lent her voice to this animated feature film.
2009 In Memory of Maia Herself Maia was a European brown bear whose brutal death served as the inspiration for a unique bear sanctuary in the mountains of Transylvania. In her first television documentary, Imbruglia travelled to Romania with World Animal Protection and Network Ten to meet the people behind the sanctuary.
2010 The X Factor UK Guest Judge Imbruglia stood in for Dannii Minogue during the Birmingham auditions. She returned to work alongside Minogue at the Judges Houses section of the show, helping make the final three boys selection in Australia.
2010 The X Factor Australia Judge/Herself Judge on the Australian version of The X Factor on the Seven Network.
2014 TBD (Documentary) Herself As an advocate for Women’s Health issues in Africa, she is filming a documentary about these important, underreported issues in Ethiopia.
2016 First Contact Herself 3 episodes; It documents the journey of six Australian celebrities who are challenged over a period of 28 days about their pre-existing perceptions of Indigenous Australians.


Year Show Role Notes and awards
2014 Things We Do For Love Nikki


Year Name Media Notes
1989 Twisties Television She starred in a TV advertisement for Twisties as a waitress.
1991 Bubblicious Television She was a pineapple princess for the advertisement.
2002 Gap Print She modelled for various advertisements from the Summer to Winter.
2002–2006 L'Oréal Print & Television Imbruglia became a worldwide spokesperson for L'Oréal after the release of White Lilies Island. She was a model for many cosmetic products by L'Oréal, particularly mascaras and skincare products. She also appeared in several TV commercials for L'Oréal. In July 2007, her five-year contract with L'Oréal expired and was not prolonged, because, in her words during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she is "apparently ... not worth it anymore", referring to the company's slogan "Because You're Worth It".
2005 Make Poverty History Television She was one of the stars that appeared in the European version of the advertisement.
2008 PETA Print Imbruglia posed in an anti-fur ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in which she is holding a rabbit to her naked chest next to the tagline "Try Telling Him It's Just a Little Fur Trim."
2009 Oxfam Print Oxfam's "Sustain Me" campaign that featured Imbruglia as one of their models, aimed at highlighting Oxfam as a fashionable and more sustainable alternative to the high street. She donned second-hand clothes that were restyled by designer Katie Shillingford.
2011 Kailis Print, television Imbuglia signed a 2-year contract with Australian luxury brand Kailis to be their featured model and spokesperson.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Country For Result
1998 MTV Video Music Award Best New Artist US "Torn" Won
Best Female Video US "Torn" Nominated
International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Australia US "Torn" Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Song Europe Torn Won
Best New Act Europe Left of the Middle Nominated
Best Female Artist Europe Left of the Middle Nominated
ARIA Music Awards Single of the Year Australia Torn Won
Best Female Artist Australia Left of the Middle Won
Best Australian New Talent Australia Left of the Middle Won
Breakthrough Artist – Album Australia Left of the Middle Won
Breakthrough Artist - Single Australia Torn Won
Best Pop Release Australia Left of the Middle Nominated
Best Selling Australian Release Australia Left of the Middle Nominated
Best Selling Australian Single Australia Torn Won
Billboard Music Award Adult Top 40 Track of the Year US Torn Won
1999 Grammy Award Best New Artist US Natalie Imbruglia Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Album US Left of the Middle Nominated
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance US Torn Nominated
Brit Awards International Newcomer UK Left of the Middle Won
International Female Solo Artist UK Left of the Middle Won
American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist US Left of the Middle Nominated
Premios Amigo Awards Best International Female Spain Left of the Middle Nominated
Best New Artist/Group Spain Left of the Middle Nominated
ARIA Music Awards Best Female Artist Australia Left of the Middle Won
Artistic Achievement Award Australia Left of The Middle Won
2000 IFPI Platinum Award for over 2 Million Sales World Left of the Middle Won
2002 ARIA Music Awards Best Australian Singer Australia White Lilies Island Nominated
Silver Clef Award International Award UK White Lilies Island Won
2005 ARIA Music Awards Best Female Artist Australia Counting Down the Days Nominated
PPL Awards Most Performed Track UK Shiver Won
2006 NRJ Music Award Best International Female France Counting Down the Days Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards Most Performed Track UK Shiver Nominated
APRA Awards Most Performed Foreign Work Australia Shiver Nominated
2009 Asian Festival of First Films Best Actress Singapore Closed For Winter Nominated
2012 InStyle Women of Style News & Entertainment AustraliaNominated
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Fiona Apple
MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist
Succeeded by
Preceded by
"Mmmbop" by Hanson
MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song for "Torn"
Succeeded by
"...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears


  1. Minogue wins battle of Aussie divas. Billboard magazine. 19 January 2002. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "NATALIE IMBRUGLIA: La biografia".
  3. McNair, James (1 April 2005). "Natalie Imbruglia: Torn no longer". The Independent. UK: Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  4. Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 267 ISBN 0-85112-199-3
  5. "Airwaves torn up by Imbruglia". The Sunday Telegraph. AU. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  6. "This week's sales analysis". 16 September 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  7. "Natalie Imbruglia". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  8. "Natalie catches a Coldplay". The Sun. London. 20 February 2009.
  9. "Chris Martin 'Natalie Imbruglia Has Coldplay's Best Song'". 4 March 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  10. "Coldplay regrets giving 'best song' to Natalie Imbruglia". The Daily Telegraph. UK. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  11. "Twitter / michael brauer: @joramerico i mixed 3 song". Twitter. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  12. "Dancers Pro, jobs and auditions for dancers". Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  13. "Twitter / Gary Clark: Coming soonish "Want" firs". Twitter. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  14. "Home". Natalie Imbruglia. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  15. No Cookies | Herald Sun
  16. Things We Do For Love, Theatre Royal Bath, review: laughter and pain - Telegraph
  17. Natalie Imbruglia interview: from pop charts to Ayckbourn - Telegraph
  18. Icm - Natalie Imbruglia
  19. "Return of Natalie Imbruglia". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  20. "Natalie Imbruglia Takes on the Boys With a Feminine Twist on 'Male': Album Review". Retrieved 2015-08-31.
  21. "The X Factor to try on a new Natalie". 31 March 2011. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  22. Quinn, Karl (18 November 2016). "First Contact review: David Oldfield's verdict on 'Stone Age' culture". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016.
  23. "Natalie Imbruglia love split". Sunday Mirror. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  24. McCabe, Kathy (5 January 2008). "Daniel Johns and Natalie Imbruglia divorce". UK: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  25. Watson, Shane (27 May 2015). "The Return of Natalie Imbruglia". Red Online. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  26. Emotional ties with actress and singer Natalie Imbruglia | Daily Mail Online
  27. "Natalie Imbruglia". SANE Australia. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  28. "Audrey Hepburn tops beauty poll". BBC News. 31 May 2004. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  29. "VH1 100 Sexiest Artists". Vh1. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  30. "Natalie Imbruglia – Imbruglia Accepts Her Natural Look". 14 April 2005. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  31. "Johnny English (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 17 April 2011.

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