Lee Kernaghan has earned his place as one of Australia’s leading contemporary music artists. He has dominated the charts with successive hit albums, including Outback Club, Three Chain Road, 1959, Hat Town, Electric Rodeo, The New Bush, Planet Country, Beautiful Noise and his most recent Spirit Of The Anzacs. Lee has made a huge impact on country music in Australia, creating a new musical landscape for the genre when he burst onto the scene in 1992. He has sold over two million albums, won 33 Golden Guitars and three Aria Awards, and has had 33 #1 hits on the Australian Country Charts.
Lee was named “Hit Maker of the Decade” twice, in 2001 and 2011. This title goes to the country artist from anywhere in the world who achieves the most amount of hits in the Australian market over the decade.
To many people, Lee represents the spirit and values of contemporary rural Australia. His love of the Australian way of life features in his music, and he is a passionate supporter of Australia’s rural culture.
It is this care for Australian communities and culture that saw Lee named the Australian of the Year in 2008. In 2004 Lee was awarded the Order of Australia Medal.
During a visit to the Australian War Memorial in 2013 Lee’s friend and AWM Director Dr. Brendan Nelson introduced Lee to letters that were written by Australian service men and women during various wars dating back to the landing at Gallipoli during the First World War. These letters were held in the vaults at the AWM.
The power of the letters affected Lee deeply and the experience at the Australian War Memorial that day was the catalyst that saw theses letters put to music in what would become Lee’s most recent album, Spirit Of The Anzacs.
Lee said “Spirit Of The Anzacs is an album unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s taken Garth Porter, Colin Buchanan and I into the diaries, letters and stories of Australian and New Zealand diggers across 100 years of ANZAC history, from The First World War right through to Afghanistan.
It’s like every song I’ve ever written that has sought to give voice to the bush has been preparing me for the sacred privilege of singing the voice of our soldiers. The gravity of these new, special songs cut the air like the smoke of a bushfire, a constant reminder of all the courage, blood, love and loss that’s wrapped up in every word. It’s a musical monument, an epitaph created in the trenches by the diggers themselves who couldn’t – and wouldn’t – carve stone in their own honour. But the lost speak on so powerfully in their honest, humble, noble words”.
Upon release, Spirit Of The Anzacs struck a chord with the Australian people. The album not only went Platinum within 3 weeks but it dominated the ARIA all genre album chart by holding the #1 position for four weeks in a row and the #2 position for another three weeks. Making it the highest selling Australian album for 2015.
2015 also saw the release of Lee’s first book – “The Boy From The Bush, These Are My Songs, These Are My Stories”. The book is a fantastic insight into Lee’s career. Filled with many behind the scenes stories about songs and albums the book also covers Lee’s journey throughout his career starting when he was a young boy and the impact his family had on his destiny. The book is not only a terrific read for all fans but includes photos from throughout Lee’s life that have never been published before.
Lee will close out 2015 with a massive national tour called “The Songs And The Stories In Concert”. Fittingly, the tour covers elements of the book and also features the songs from Spirit Of The Anzacs. For the first time in his career Lee will be presenting a two-part concert.
The first half will feature his most loved songs and the stories behind them presented in a semi-acoustic setting.
The second half will feature the Spirit Of The Anzacs album complete with a large video screen as a part of the presentation.
Lee Kernaghan has created his place in the history books of Australian Music and continues to grow his audience with every new album. 2016 will see the release of yet another new album and 2017 will be a special year that will feature the 25th Anniversary Tour of Australia’s Boy From The Bush.