Listen: Delta Goodrem chats to Laura Bennett
As a mainstay on our TV screens and airwaves, Delta Goodrem’s accomplishments can be easily overlooked as we admire her glammed-up styles on The Voice, or see her gracing yet another magazine cover.
With 16 ARIA Awards, a Silver Logie and four number one albums – and that’s just getting started – Delta’s held a place in the Australian music and media landscape that few artists have attained.
Since signing with Sony Music at age 15, she’s gone on to appear on TV’s Neighbours, written and performed songs for Olivia Newton-John, Celine Dion and Tony Bennett, and in 2015-16 performed the role of Grizabella in an Australian tour of the iconic musical CATS.
“Like everybody, I’m just trying to find my way, and find new ways to keep bringing music out.”
This year Delta marks nine years as the anchoring host of Channel 9’s singing contest The Voice. It was a season of firsts as COVID-19 altered the production schedule, saw the removal of the live audience, and had international judges Kelly Rowland and Boy George appearing via video link for the final episodes.
“We didn’t know when we were going to come back at The Voice,” Delta told Hope 103.2. “Every day was changing and evolving, and I was so proud of our production team for being able to get Kelly and George in the seats on screens, and having the families of the artists on screens… It was a new experience for everybody.”
Personally, Delta shared, “Like everybody [in the pandemic], I’m just trying to find my way, and find new ways to keep bringing music out.” Which has brought her to the release of her new single, Paralyzed and the launch of her 2021 tour, Bridge Over Troubled Dreams.
- The Real Story of Delta’s Song ‘Paralyzed’: Surgery That Left Her With a Speech Impediment, Unable to Sing
“A Little Spooky” – Song Lyrics Fitting for 2020
Written before the coronavirus outbreak, Paralyzed is eerily fitting for the season as Delta sings, Doctor paused this life / He told me, “You won’t fly, / Cancel everything / You need some time to heal / And it may take a year / Reset the clocks again”…
“It’s definitely a little bit spooky reading the lyrics back,” said Delta, “…but this was about my own story of resetting, and a part of life where everything had to stop and I had to take the time to find a new path. But as the lyric evolved, I realised this is everyone’s story right now, so it’s a perfect time to share this song.”
When life is put on pause and we do have to change our plans Delta said, “Surrendering to the moment is hard, but having that fire in you [and asking] ‘What do I need to know in this moment?’ helps.
“I’m the kind of person really looks within and goes, ‘What is this trying to tell me?’ ‘What parts of my life can I change to move forward?’ I know so many of my friends who are going through that reset right now, and evaluating what works for them and [what] doesn’t going into this next part of life.”
Streaming Concerts From Home in the Pandemic
One of the ways Delta’s found to continue sharing music with her fans, The Bunkerdown Sessions: a series of virtual Thursday-night concerts livestreamed from her home, where she performs a variety of old, new and cover songs – and where keen-eyed onlookers have spotted her guitar-playing beau Matthew Copely in the background.
While never formally confirming their relationship or appearing on red carpets together, there’s been talk of a romance since 2017 – continuing the trend of the tabloids’ fascination with Delta’s love life. While she’s openly dated the likes of Mark Philipousis, Brian McFadden and Nick Jonas, the glossies have also linked her with others she’s never spoken about publicly, such as Seal and Karl Stefanovic; while a white dress on The Voice prompted some to wonder if she and Copely were planning a wedding.
Asked how she handles the public interest in her personal life Delta said, “When I turned 30, I realised that I like my personal life being my personal life – as much as it can be. But I’ve also always respected and understood that there was an interest from people.
“I’m always going to be a dreamer, and I love visuals. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Dreams’ has a lot of possibilities to me…”
“…I’m appreciative that there’s an interest I guess, but I do my very best to be able to live my life with my family and friends and loved ones [privately], but at the same time do my duty in doing the best I can with music in public.”
During her down time away from the stage, Delta enjoys doing what she does best: dreaming.
Between Paraylzed, her last single Keep Climbing, and the tour title Bridge Over Troubled Dreams, there’s definite themes about imagination, pressing on and overcoming – which are continuously on Delta’s mind.
“It’s a part of my DNA I guess,” said Delta. “I’m always going to be a dreamer, and I love visuals. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Dreams’ has a lot of possibilities to me, in the idea of taking that one step to overcome the challenges to our dreams – because right now, there’s none that don’t come without their troubles.”
The Impact of Her 2003 Bout With Blood Cancer
During her time on The Voice, Delta’s often found herself speaking into the dreams of contestants facing challenging health battles – like this year’s Timothy Bowen, who’d recovered from a form of blood cancer much like Delta; she made it through her own diagnosis of Hodgkins’ lymphoma in 2003.
Although Delta didn’t initially choose to have her medical condition become an ongoing part of her career, it’s something she’s decided to lean into. In recent months, she launched The Delta Goodrem Foundation, which funds research into blood cancers and autoimmune diseases.
“It’s still a big part of my life to speak to people who are still in the fight,” Delta said. “…So many people are diagnosed with cancer, and so to be able to launch the foundation is something concrete for me to really impact people’s lives with and make a difference.”
“The tour will be quite a healing time… when we all collectively spend these couple of hours together in a room singing. It’s really my favourite part of everything.”
To be able to have face-to-face time again with those she’s impacted, and fans around Australia, is something Delta’s ready to return to.
“We had to have something to look forward to,” Delta said. “… [The tour will] also be quite a healing time… when we all collectively spend these couple of hours together in a room singing. It’s really my favourite part of everything.”
Delta Goodrem’s Bridge Over Troubled Dreams reaches Sydney on April 10 2021, and also takes in Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Wollongong, Townsville and Newcastle, as well as New Zealand. Tickets are on sale now, and attendees are advised to stay update on current COVID-19 regulations in NSW.
After this article was published, Delta went public on August 16 about the full story behind the song Paralyzed: a battle to recover her speech and singing abilities, after an operation damaged a nerve in her tongue.