Mahalia Barnes

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Mahalia Barnes
Background information
Birth name Mahalia Violet Barnes
Born (1982-07-12) 12 July 1982 (age 34)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Rock, soul
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1991–present
Labels Liberation
Associated acts Jimmy Barnes
Jade Macrae
Tin Lids
David Campbell, The Choir of Hard Knocks, Reece Mastin

Mahalia Violet Barnes (born 12 July 1982) is an Australian singer-songwriter and manager, the daughter of Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes and Jane Mahoney. She began performing as part of children's pop group The Tin Lids with siblings, Eliza-Jane, Elly-May and Jackie, but has since become a session and backup singer in her own right. She most recently has sung backup for Joe Bonamassa in the studio, and live.


Mahalia Violet Barnes was born on 12 July 1982 in Sydney.[1] She is the daughter of Jimmy Barnes (born James Swan, 28 April 1956 Glasgow, Scotland) an Australian rock singer, and Jane Mahoney (born Jane Dejakasaya, 1958, Bangkok, Thailand), the stepdaughter of an Australian diplomat.[1] The pair married in Sydney on 22 May 1981, Barnes was named after United States gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.[1] Barnes has three full siblings, Eliza-Jane Barnes, Elly-may Barnes and Jackie Barnes, who formed the group Tin Lids with Barnes in 1991. Barnes also has an older half-brother, David Campbell (born 6 August 1973, Adelaide), fathered by Jimmy.

Barnes performs regular live gigs around Australia and also backs other artists including R&B singer Jade MacRae, live Sydney band The Hands (whose members include session musicians Clayton and Lachlan Doley) and her father Jimmy. She has worked for MacRae, The Hands, Jimmy (including a duet, "Gonna Take Some Time", which was released as the second single from his album Double Happiness), Gary Pinto and her uncle Johnny Diesel (married to Jane's sister). She has also contributed to Reece Mastin and his Change Colours album.

Her debut album Volume 1 with the Soul Mates was released in June 2008.

Barnes auditioned for the first season of the Australian version of The Voice with the song "Proud Mary", the episode of which was broadcast on 22 April 2012 on the Nine Network. All coaches pressed their buttons (the first was Keith Urban), then realised that she was in fact Jimmy Barnes' daughter. Mahalia chose to join Joel Madden's team. Mahalia was eliminated in the battle ring when she was pitted against Prinnie Stevens, who is very close to Mahalia.[2][3]

She became Reece Mastin's manager in early 2015, when he was signed to Social Family Records. She contributed to his Change Colours album. They had been friends before she became his manager, and he has worked closely with the whole Barnes family, with all of them making a cameo on his new record, including daughter Ruby Rodgers (6 years of age) with Ben Rodgers, the bassist on the record Change Colours. Rodgers also plays guitar and bass at his love performances.


  • Live at the Basement (digital release only; EP, 2006)
  • Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates (with the Soul Mates; EP, 2008)
  • Volume 1 (with the Soul Mates; album, 2008)
  • Ooh Yeah! - The Betty Davis Songbook (with the Soul Mates and Joe Bonamassa; album, 2015)
With Jimmy Barnes
  • Two Fires (backing vocals on "When Your Love is Gone", also issued as a single; 1990)
  • Double Happiness (duet on "Gonna Take Some Time", also issued as a single; Liberation Records, 2005) (#31 Australia)[4]
With Tin Lids
  • "Walk the Dinosaur" (single, 1991)
  • Hey Rudolph (1991)
  • Snakes and Ladders (1992)
  • Dinosaur Dreaming (1993)
Prinnie + Mahalia
  • Come Together (2012)
With Reece Mastin
  • Change Colours (2015) | Backing Vocals and Composition


External links[edit]