She’s a four-time ARIA accredited Platinum seller, Australia’s exceptional entertainer, a national darling that is one of the hottest creative exports, and above all that; Jessica Mauboy is a singer songwriter with the talent to take a tune to the top of the charts.
Now at dizzying heights of pop stardom in her homeland, who would have known that a girl from a small town in outback Darwin, Australia would sell over 3.4 million units globally, achieve 5 top 10 albums, 15 top twenty singles, have over 158 million streams globally as well as 37 million views, tour with big leagues like Beyonce and Chris Brown, collaborate with the likes of Ricky Martin, Flo Rida, Snopp Dogg and Pitbull; perform for Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres and make history being the first non-European solo artist to represent Australia at Eurovision. It has been a difficult journey, navigated with immense talent, hard work and good instincts.
Leaping into the limelight as a runner-up on Australian Idol (2006) Jessica briefly became a member of the Australian pop girl group Young Divas (2007) on their second album ‘New Attitude’ which debuted at #10 on the ARIA Albums Charts and was certified gold. Singing with the likes of Rikki Lee-Coulter, Kate DeAraugo, Paulini and Emily Williams the album’s lead single ‘Turn Me Loose’ (featuring rapper Savage) reached #15 on the ARIA Singles Chart. After a successful year, the group broke up and Jessica focused on her solo career. It was here where Jessica began her journey and earned a formidable reputation of Australia’s exceptional entertainer.
At the age of 19, Jessica released her debut studio album ‘Been Waiting’ (2008) which became the second highest selling Australian album scoring double platinum sales and yielding 7 ARIA Award Nominations, including Best Pop Release, Breakthrough Artist Album, Highest Selling Album and Best Female Artist. Her first single “Running Back” featuring Flo Rida earned Jessica her first ARIA for Highest Selling Single (2009) with her second single ‘Burn’ reaching #1 on the ARIA Charts.
Jessica included actress to her title when she made her debut in the Australian film musical ‘Bran Nue Dae’ (2010) which also starred Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush. During that year, Jessica collaborated with four other international artists on the theme song for the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics titled ‘Everyone’. Artists like Sean Kingston, Jody Williams, Tabitha Nauser and Steve Appleton all performed with Jessica at the opening of the Youth Olympics held in Singapore. Her successes scored her a nomination for Young Australian of the Year (2010).
Jessica’s collaboration-crammed album follow up ‘Get ‘Em Girls’ was a top 10 ARIA album and generated four multi-platinum selling singles including, the album’s title track featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg, ‘Saturday Night’ featuring American rapper Ludacris, and ‘What Happened to Us’ featuring English singer Jay Sean. Adding to her busy schedule, Jessica was asked to perform for Oprah Winfrey at the Federation Square, Melbourne in front of an audience of 92,000 (2010). The success of the event, led her the next year to perform for the Australian troops at RAAF Base Darwin (2011) ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the place.
In 2011, Jessica served as a support act for Chris Brown’s Australian leg of his F.A.M.E Tour whilst re-releasing a deluxe edition of ‘Get ‘Em Girls’. The singles ‘Inescapable’ and ‘Galaxy’ featuring Stan Walker made certified double platinum. ‘Galaxy’ became Jessica’s first single to chart internationally reaching #36 on the New Zealand Singles Chart. The following year Jessica and Stan embarked on their ‘Galaxy’ Tour across Australia, which served as her first headlining tour.
This was followed up with a starring role in the internationally celebrated and multi award winning feature The Sapphires a true story about four Aboriginal women who performed for the troops in Vietnam. At the age of just 23, Jessica was treading the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival (2012) premiering at the special midnight screening. The musical feature was released internationally to rave reviews, with Jessica receiving both the AACTA and AFCA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her outstanding portrayal of the role of Julie. Jessica recorded 15 songs for ‘The Sapphire’s’ soundtrack album (2012). The album debuted at #1 on the Australian charts and was certified platinum. Jessica released ‘Gotcha’ as the album’s lead single, which peaked at #43 on the Australian charts and was certified gold.
2013 was another big year for Jessica. Immediately after promoting ‘The Sapphires’, she hit the studio and created her third studio album ‘Beautiful’ (2013). The album recording was in a whirlwind process, due to this long, intense route that kept her from friends and family Jessica channelled all her emotions into the song writing process. ‘Beautiful’ was the most honest album reflecting on who she is and where she comes from. The album was accomplished with the help of some luminary international producers. ‘Kick Up Your Heels’ a collaboration with global superstar Pitbull was produced by the Orange Factory Music that previously worked with stars like Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Rowland, Usher, Janet Jackson and Beyonce. The album debuted at #3 on the Australian charts and was certified platinum. The lead single ‘To the End of the Earth’ went certified gold and yielded Jessica an ARIA Music Award in Best Female Artist. The second single ‘Pop a Bottle (Fill Me Up)’ was certified platinum and reached #33 in the New Zealand charts which became her third single to chart internationally.
In the same year, Jessica received her second nomination for Young Australian of the Year as well as winning the Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year award. To add on to her list of performances, Jessica performed for Ellen DeGeneres at two Australian shows in Sydney and Melbourne and the Australian national anthem and Livin’ la Vida Loca with Ricky Martin at the 2013 NRL Grand Final. It was the success of ‘Beautiful’ that led to Jessica embarking on the ‘To the End of the Earth Tour’, her second headlining tour, from November 2013 to January 2014.
In 2014, Jessica made history when asked to perform as a guest at the Eurovision Song Contest in Denmark, being the first non-European solo artist to do so. It was a day of remembrance of when a rare Northern Territory flower bloomed in far off Copenhagen (that has a global television audience of 200 million). This followed with Jessica performing at the Official Flag Handover Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The same year, Jessica became one of the few notable Australians to feature on the iconic Sesame Street when she filmed the Five Kangaroo’s in Alice Springs with some of the students from the Yipirinya School (2014).
Away from the microphone, Jessica uses her high public profile to support community organisations and promote reconciliation, multiculturalism and healthy living. She has been actively involved in lending her hand to charity and is a key role model to the Indigenous community in Australia with involvement in many organisations ranging from mentoring, performing and education. In 2015, Jessica became an ambassador for The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF). She constantly aids the foundation in building awareness to continue to work to increase literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities across Australia. Spending time in remote communities Jessica understands the many challenges and barriers to literacy that exists in these areas.
Having already been applauded for her key acting roles in ‘Bran Nue Dae’ and ‘The Sapphires’, Jessica completed a project on a role specifically developed with her in mind. The six-part TV series ‘The Secret Daughter’ and its accompanying 17- track album (2016) was a project that was close to Jessica’s heart. This lead to her making ARIA Chart history being the first indigenous woman to achieve three consecutive weeks at #1 for her release of ‘Songs from the Original TV Series – The Secret Daughter’ album along with her TV series activing debut in Seven Network’s drama ‘The Secret Daughter’. The album includes five original songs and twelve cover versions of songs by Cold Chisel, Crowded House, The Clash, Roxette, Ed Sheeran and Alex Lloyd, among others. One of the original tracks, ‘Risk It’, was released as the lead single from the soundtrack album.
2017 was another jammed packed year. Jessica became the official Ambassador for Fox Sports new Fox League channel, sold out her headlining tour ‘All the Hits Live’ and after the success of The Secret Daughter Series One saw the return to the TV screens in Series Two of The Secret Daughter Two which had an accompanying album. Jessica also took home MTV EMA’s Best Australian Act and received 6 nominations at the ARIA Music Awards. In 2018, Jessica represented Australia in the international TV song contest, Eurovision held in May, at Lisbon.
The power- house vocal star is an exceptional entertainer and an all-around talent who has earned praise and admiration over the course of her 14 years.
In April, Jessica released her first single ‘Sunday’ of her highly anticipated fourth studio album. ‘Sunday’ was co- written with The Orphanage (Demi Lovato, Bebe Rexha, Alessia Cara). It is the first song Jessica has written for her upcoming fourth studio album and one of Mauboy’s best works to date.
Each of Mauboy’s albums have been extremely personal and this new album shows her now at 29, reflecting on family – the family we are born in to and the family we choose – alongside the little things in our lives – the quiet moments on a Sunday afternoon, the private thoughts alone in a taxi cab, the 3am reflections, the little rejections, the disappointments, the small heartbreaks, but ultimately about hope and spirit which amount to the biggest things – who we are. ‘Sunday’ is the first taste from this new album, due later this year.