Guy Theodore Sebastian is an Australian singer and songwriter who was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2002, and a judge on Australia’s The X Factor from 2010 to 2012 and then again in 2015 and 2016. He represented Australia at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 5th place.
The 2002 Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian is a former member of the PlanetShakers Music, taking both lead and backup vocal parts on the 2002 and 2003 albums and conferences.
Early life and Family
Guy Sebastian was born 26 October 1981, in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. His father Ivan was also born in Malaysia and is an ethnic Malaysian Indian of Tamil origin and Ceylonese descent with distant colonial Portuguese roots, while his mother Nellie is an ethnic Eurasian of English and Portuguese descent and was raised in India.
The parents met in India while Ivan was studying geology in the country, and they married a year later. Sebastian is the second of four sons. His older brother Ollie was born in India, and his younger brothers Chris and Jeremy were born in Australia after the family migrated there in 1988, when he was six years old. They lived in Melbourne, Victoria, for several years before eventually moving to Adelaide, South Australia, due to Ivan’s work as a geologist.
Sebastian took violin lessons as a child; later, he learned to play guitar, drums and piano, although he has had no formal training in these other musical instruments. He attended Paradise Community Church, an Assemblies of God church and one of the largest churches in Australia, and he became one of their main worship singers. He also sang with the Paradise Community Church Youth Conference Planetshakers, performing both lead and backup vocals for their 2002 and 2003 conferences and albums.
After winning Australian Idol he recorded on two of their albums, Adore in 2004 and Set Me Free in 2005.
Sebastian attended King’s Baptist Grammar School. He then began studies in Medical Radiation at the University of South Australia, but left to pursue a career in music. He taught vocals at Temple Christian College and other high schools while also working as a recording engineer and studying Music Technology at the University of Adelaide’s Elder School of Music.
Sebastian has released nine top ten albums, including two number ones. The first seven all gained either platinum or multi-platinum certification. He has also achieved twenty one top twenty singles, with twelve reaching the top ten, including six number ones.
Sabastian is the only Australian male artist in Australian chart history to achieve six number one singles, and places third overall for all Australian acts. Eight of his singles have been certified multi-platinum, including the 9× platinum “Battle Scars”.
His debut single “Angels Brought Me Here” was the highest selling song in Australia last decade. With 52 platinum and eight gold certifications and combined album and single sales of over 3.9 million in Australia, he has the highest certifications and sales of any Australian Idol contestant.
Sebastian has worked with a number of notable American musicians, including Brian McKnight, Robin Thicke, Steve Cropper, John Mayer, Jordin Sparks, Eve and Lupe Fiasco. “Battle Scars”, a collaboration with Fiasco, spent 20 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 71 and achieved platinum certification. “Battle Scars” also reached number two in Norway and New Zealand. Sebastian has reached the top ten in New Zealand with an album and six singles, including two number ones, and gained six platinum and three gold certifications there. In 2015 his Eurovision song charted in the top 50 in five European countries.
During his career Sebastian has received 28 ARIA Award nominations, winning four including Best Pop Release and Best Live Act. Other awards include the APRA Urban Work of the Year, the Oz Artist of the Year, Urban Music Awards for Best Male Artist and Best R&B Album, and an International Songwriting Competition award for “Battle Scars”.
Sebastian has sung at many notable events, including performing for Pope Benedict XVI, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II. He has a strong commitment to charity, he was previously an ambassador for World Vision Australia and the Australian Red Cross and has created his own foundation, The Sebastian Foundation, with his wife Jules.
Sebastian is married to Jules Egan, his girlfriend of over eight years. They were married in Manly, Sydney on 17 May 2008. They have two sons, Hudson (born 2012) and Archer (born 2014).
List Of Songs By Guy Sebastian
- Just as I Am (2003)
- Beautiful Life (2004)
- Closer to the Sun (2006)
- The Memphis Album (2007)
- Like it Like That (2009)
- Armageddon (2012)
- Madness (2014)
- Conscious (2017)