Natalie Imbruglia

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Natalie Imbruglia
Imbruglia at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Natalie Jane Imbruglia

(1975-02-04) 4 February 1975 (age 49)
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • model
Years active1991–present
(m. 2003; div. 2008)
RelativesLaura Imbruglia (sister)
Musical career

Natalie Jane Imbruglia (/ɪmˈbrliə/ im-BROOG-lee-ə, Italian: [imˈbruʎʎa]; born 4 February 1975) is an Australian-British singer-songwriter and actress. In the early 1990s, she played Beth Brennan in Neighbours. Having left the soap opera, she moved to the UK and began a singing career. Her debut single, a cover of Ednaswap's song "Torn" (1997), quickly became a worldwide hit, topped the US Billboard Radio Songs Chart for eleven weeks in 1998, and was listed on 50 Best Songs of 1990s by Rolling Stone.[1][2] Her debut album, Left of the Middle (1997) was a commercial success, certified multi-platinum in the US, the UK and Australia and eventually sold seven million copies worldwide. Subsequent albums, including White Lilies Island (2001) and Counting Down the Days (2005) did not match commercial success of her debut, but both albums still gained Gold certification in the UK.[3][4] As of 2021, Imbruglia has released six studio albums and has sold more than ten million copies worldwide.[5] Imbruglia has received various accolades, including eight ARIA Awards, two Brit Awards, one Billboard Music Award, one Silver Clef Award and three Grammy nominations.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Imbruglia has appeared in several films, including Johnny English (2003) and Australian indie film Closed for Winter (2009). She has modelled for several brands, such as L'Oreal, Gap, and Kailis. Amongst other philanthropic work, Imbruglia served as a longtime spokesperson for Virgin Unite and campaigns to raise awareness of obstetric fistula.

Life and career[edit]

1975–1994: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Imbruglia was born on 4 February 1975, in Sydney, Australia, second of four daughters of Maxene (née Anderson) and Elliot Imbruglia.[12] Her father is of Italian descent, a Sicilian from Lipari who immigrated to Australia with his family aged five, and her mother is of Irish, Scottish and English descent, with an ancestor who arrived in Australia as a convict in the First Fleet.[13][14][15] Imbruglia grew up in Berkeley Vale, New South Wales and attended Mater Dei College. At fifteen, she moved to Sydney with her family[15] and studied ballet, tap and Highland dancing.

Imbruglia appeared in Australian television commercials for Coca-Cola and the Australian snack Twisties. She left school at the age of sixteen, to pursue acting. She secured a role as Beth Brennan on the Australian soap opera Neighbours where she shared a house with Ben Mitchell who played the part of Cameron Hudson.[16][17] By the end of her second year, she left the show to move to London in 1994.[15] She met Anne Barret, who became her manager and convinced her to record a demo of four songs.[15] She signed a record deal with BMG, after a demo of "Torn" impressed RCA Records.

1997–2000: Left of the Middle and international breakthrough[edit]

Imbruglia's first international single, Torn, was a cover of a song whose first English version was made by Ednaswap, an American 1990s rock band, but it earlier was a Danish song released by Danish artist Lis Sørensen[18] The song was released on 27 October 1997 in the United Kingdom, and peaked at number two for three weeks on the UK Singles Chart. "Torn" has eventually been sold over one million copies in the UK alone and became one of the bestselling singles of 1990s in the UK ever.[19] Following the success in the UK, the song was getting heavy airplay around the world since late 1997 but North America. "Torn" finally made its debut in the United States in January 1998 when a radio station, Los Angeles KROQ who sensed the buzz and popularity of the song in international market, started playing an import version of the song, which was quickly followed by other stations, MTV followed by playing its music video, and Saturday Night Live (SNL) booked Imbruglia for a live performance even before her album was available.[20]

"Torn" debuted at the Top 40 on Billboard Radio Songs Chart on 14 February 1998 and finally reached number one spot on 16 May 1998 and stayed at the summit for eleven consecutive weeks. To promote the album sales in the US, the record label decided not to release the physical single of the song, thus the song did not appear on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart during its popularity peak in mid-1998, the rule was changed due to the public and industry outcry in late-1998, and the song made its appearance on the chart for two weeks, and peaked at number 42. In other markets, Torn was a number one song in Canada, Denmark, and number two in her home country, Australia.

Imbruglia performed "Torn" to promote the album and made several appearances on TV shows, including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Saturday Night Live (SNL), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and MTV Movie Awards in the United States, The Prince’s Trust Party in the Park and Later... with Jools Holland in the United Kingdom as well as Hey Hey It's Saturday in Australia.

Imbruglia's debut album Left of the Middle was released on 24 November 1997. It sold 350,000 in the UK three weeks after release and was certified platinum. It has sold 7 million copies.[21] The second single in the UK after "Torn" was "Big Mistake", which debuted at No. 2. "Wishing I Was There" was less successful, peaking at No. 19. "Wishing I Was There" only peaked at No. 2 on UK radio in summer 1998, and in the US peaked at No. 14 on the Top 40 Show. The final single from Left of the Middle was "Smoke", the reception was more divided than previously. 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.

"Torn" single and the Left of the Middle album earned Imbruglia an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song, six trophies at 12th ARIA Music Award in 1998, including Best New Talent, Best Australian Debut Album, Best Female Artist, and Single of the Year,[22] and two more trophies at 13th ARIA Music Award in 1999, including Outstanding Achievement Award [23] as well as two Brit Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Female.[24]

2001–2004: White Lilies Island[edit]

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 ready by November 2003; however her record label refused to release it. She was given songs to record with Swedish pop producers, Bloodshy & Avant. 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. In 2003, she appeared in the spy parody film Johnny English, playing Rowan Atkinson's love interest, Lorna Campbell, in a Bond girl–style role.

2005–2008: Counting Down the Days[edit]

In April 2005, Imbruglia's third album Counting Down the Days had "Shiver" as its first single. "Shiver" became her longest-charting 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 sold out; notably London.

The album was the 100th-best-selling album in 2005, selling 204,877 copies in the UK alone.[25]

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 No. 5 in the UK, including the single "Glorious" as well as a DVD of Imbruglia's videos. The album sold 600,000 copies.

2009–2014: Come to Life, musical hiatus and stage debut[edit]

Imbruglia in Bucharest, Romania, in 2008

In late-2008, in the second year of work on her eventual 2009 album Come to Life, Imbruglia parted with her label, Brightside/Sony BMG.[26] She obtained the rights to songs recorded for the album and planned to record on her own label, Malabar Records.[27] Songs were co-written with Ben Hillier, Dave McCracken, her then-husband Daniel Johns, Gary Clark, Jamie Hartman, Paul Harris, Shep Solomon and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Some tracks were produced by Hillier and mixed by Danton Supple.

Accompanied by an extensive television advertising campaign and press campaign,[28] Come to Life was released, through Island Records, on 2 October 2009 in Australia. It entered the Australian albums chart at No. 67 on 19 October 2009, making it Imbruglia's worst performing album to date, selling just 750 copies in its first week of release and spending only two weeks in the Top 100.[29] It had been announced that the album would be released in the United Kingdom (UK) on 3 May 2010, preceded by the track "Scars" to be released as a single on 22 March 2010. Following the disappointing reaction on the Australian charts, the official UK launch of the album, and the single, was delayed, then cancelled.[citation needed] All plans to launch the album in the United States were also cancelled, with the album eventually made available online through Amazon Music.[30]

After the failure of Come to Life, Imbruglia took a six-year hiatus from music, shifting her focus back to acting. Imbruglia moved to Los Angeles and hired acting coach Ivana Chubbuck.[31] She appeared in three movies over the next five years, Closed for Winter (2009), Underdogs (2013) and Among Ravens (2014).

In April 2014, Imbruglia made her stage debut in a UK production of Things We Do For Love, at the Theatre Royal, Bath.[32][33]

2014–2018: Male[edit]

Imbruglia performing in 2015

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.[34] 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.[35][36] During the spring of 2017, Imbruglia took her Acoustic Tour to Europe in support of the album.[37] In 2018 she continued with a tour around the UK.

2018–present: Firebird and Neighbours finale[edit]

In an Instagram post in November 2018, Imbruglia stated that new music was due in 2019.[38] In February 2019 it was announced that Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes was in the studio with Imbruglia working on new music, along with Strokes producer Gus Oberg.[39]

Imbruglia signed to BMG in July 2019, her original record label from 1997 to 2007, with plans to release an album of new material sometime in 2020.[40] This was subsequently pushed back to 2021.[41]

On 18 June 2021, Imbruglia released "Build It Better", the first single from her sixth studio album Firebird, which was released on 24 September 2021.[42][43] The official video for "Build It Better" was directed by Amy Becker-Burnett, with choreography by Gregory Haney and Alex Sarmiento.[44][45] "Build It Better" did not enter the Official UK Top 100 Chart, but peaked at No. 67 on the Official Singles Sales Chart Top 100 and at number 66 on the Official Singles Download Chart Top 100.[46][47]

In 2022, Imbruglia won the third series of the British version of The Masked Singer as "Panda".[48] Imbruglia released her version of "Story of My Life" (a song she performed on the show) on 12 February 2022. It debuted on the UK Official Singles Sales Chart Top 100 at number 49.[49] The Firebird album re-entered the UK Official Album Downloads chart at number 32.[50]

On 28 July 2022, Imbruglia made a cameo appearance as Beth in the final-ever Neighbours episode.[51] Her appearance was filmed alongside Holly Valance's character, Felicity Scully.[52]

In February 2024, it was announced that Imruglia would embark on a UK and Ireland tour with the Irish group, The Corrs.[53]

Other activities[edit]

In May 2010, Imbruglia became a judge on the second season of the Australian version of The X Factor. She mentored the Girls category, in which her final act Sally Chatfield was the runner up of the series. In 2011, she did not return for the third season and was replaced by Natalie Bassingthwaighte.[54]

In June 2011, Imbruglia appeared on the original British version of the show, where she was a guest judge for the Birmingham auditions on its seventh series.[citation needed]

In 2016 Imbruglia was cast in the second season of SBS TV series First Contact.[55]

In 2024, she released an Audible Original podcast, Sleep Sound with Natalie Imbruglia. In the podcast she recites poetry by the late Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar.[56]

Personal life[edit]

Imbruglia in 2011

Relationships and citizenship[edit]

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

During her time on Neighbours she briefly dated her co-star Stefan Dennis. Imbruglia dated American actor David Schwimmer in the late 1990s.[57]

In 1999, Imbruglia met Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns backstage at his band's concert in London. They started dating after meeting again at the ARIA awards after-party at the Gazebo Hotel in Sydney in October of the same year.[58] After years of an on-and-off relationship,[59][60] they announced their engagement shortly before Christmas 2002,[61] and they married on New Year's Eve 2003 in a beach ceremony in Port Douglas, Queensland.[62] Imbruglia stated in a 2002 interview that meeting Johns saved her from depression.[59] Johns wrote the song "Satisfied" for Imbruglia's 2005 album Counting Down the Days, which he also produced,[63] and co-wrote the song "Want" from Imbruglia's 2009 album Come to Life.[64][65] Imbruglia wrote her 2005 single "Counting Down the Days" about their long-distance relationship, as Imbruglia was based in London and Johns lived in Newcastle, Australia.[62] They announced their divorce on 4 January 2008, stating, "We have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together."[66]

Imbruglia became a naturalised British citizen in 2013.[67][68]

On 9 October 2019, Imbruglia announced on Instagram that she had given birth to a baby boy. The child was conceived using IVF and sperm from an unnamed donor.[69]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
APRA Music Awards 1999 "Big Mistake" Most Performed Foreign Work Nominated [72]
2006 "Shiver" Nominated [73]
ARIA Music Awards 1998 Left of the Middle Album of the Year Nominated [74]
Best Female Artist Won
Best New Talent Won
Breakthrough Artist – Album Won
Best Pop Release Won
"Torn" Single of the Year Won
Breakthrough Artist – Single Won
Highest Selling Single Nominated
"Big Mistake" Nominated
1999 Left of the Middle Highest Selling Album Nominated [75]
Herself Outstanding Achievement Won
"Wishing I Was There" Best Female Artist Won
2002 White Lilies Island Nominated [76]
2005 Counting Down the Days Nominated [77]
Billboard Music Awards 1998 "Torn" Top Hot 100 Airplay Track Nominated [78]
Top Adult Top 40 Track Won
Herself Top Adult Top 40 Artist Nominated
Grammy Awards 1999 Herself Best New Artist Nominated [79]
Left of the Middle Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"Torn" Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards 1998 Herself Best New Act Nominated [80]
Best Female Nominated
"Torn" Best Song Won
Mo Awards 1998 Natalie Imbruglia Rock Performer of the Year Won [81]
Australian Showbusiness Ambassador Won
MTV Video Music Award 1998 "Torn" Best New Artist Won [82]
Best Female Video Nominated
Viewer's Choice Nominated
NME Awards 1998 Herself Best New Band Nominated [83]
Best Solo Artist Nominated
1999 Most Desirable Person Won [84]
Top Pop Personality You'd Most Like as Your Doctor Won
Žebřík Music Awards 1997 Herself Best International Female Nominated [85]
1998 Nominated
2005 Nominated [86]
Year Award Category Country For Result
1999 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards Best New Artist Tour Europe Herself Nominated
ECHO Awards Best International Newcomer Germany Nominated
Best International Female Nominated
Brit Awards International Newcomer UK Left of the Middle Won
International Female Solo Artist UK Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Rising Star US Nominated
American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist US Nominated
Premios Amigo Awards Best International Female Spain Nominated
Best New Artist/Group Spain Nominated
2000 IFPI Platinum Award for over 2 Million Sales World Left of the Middle Won
2002 Silver Clef Award International Award UK Won
2005 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
2009 Asian Festival of First Films Best Actress Singapore Closed for Winter Nominated
2012 InStyle Women of Style News & Entertainment Australia Nominated



  • Left Of The Middle Tour (1998) [87]
  • Counting Down The Days Tour (2005) [88]
  • Come To Life Tour (2009) [89]
  • Acoustic Tour (2017-2018) [90]
  • Left Of The Middle 25th Anniversary Tour (2022) [91]


  • Simply Red - The Big Love Tour (UK) (2015) [92]
  • Simply Red - The Big Love Tour (Australia) (2016) [93]
  • The Corrs - Down Under Tour (2023) [94]




Year Film Role Notes
2003 Johnny English Lorna Campbell
2009 Closed for Winter Elise Silverston
2013 Underdogs Michelle Stratton
2014 Among Ravens Madison
2015 Little Loopers Kristen Wright


Year Show Role Notes
1992–1994, 2022 Neighbours Beth Brennan Main cast, 253 episodes
1997 Law of the Land Faye Watson Episode "Late Kill"
1998 Saturday Night Live Musical Guest/Herself
2002 Legend of the Lost Tribe Koala Voice Actor
2009 In Memory of Maia Herself Documentary
2010 The X Factor UK Guest Judge
The X Factor Australia Judge/Herself
2016 First Contact Herself 3 episodes
2018 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself
2022 The Masked Singer Panda UK series 3; winner


Year Show Role Notes
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 for the "For every generation, there's a Gap" campaign.[95]
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.
2011–2015 Kailis Print, television Imbruglia was the featured model and spokesperson for Australian luxury pearl brand Kailis Jewellery from 2011 until 2015.[96][97]


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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist
Succeeded by
Preceded by MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song for "Torn"
Succeeded by