Also Known As: Natalie Jane Imbruglia
Born: February 4, 1975 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
By mixing Lisa Loeb/Alanis Morissette-like singing with music that sounds similar to a more mainstream Portishead at times, Natalie Imbruglia became one of the biggest pop sensations in Europe. Born in Sydney, Australia, on February 4, 1975, Imbruglia was one of four sisters and grew up in a tiny beach town. After becoming a teen actress and landing a spot on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Imbruglia decided that she would rather be a singer, and moved to London in 1996 to try her luck. It was a wise move, as she was soon signed to the RCA U.K. label. Deciding to release a single before her full-length debut, the track "Torn" was issued in 1997, and no one could have predicted its wild success. Produced by former Cure member Phil Thornalley and written by Ednaswap, the single spent a total of 14 weeks at number one, sold over a million copies, and broke the record for most airplay in U.K. history. Her debut album, Left of the Middle, was a major hit in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. upon its release in early 1998. Follow-up singles "Smoke" and the album's title track did moderately well, but never achieved massive success like "Torn." After whirlwind praise, Imbruglia disappeared for the rest of the '90s. She found herself battling writer's block while trying to compose material for a sophomore effort, but finally succeeded and, in 2001, released White Lilies Island in the U.K. The album's debut single, "That Day," was a favorite among radio play. A nearly four-year wait preceded the release of Counting Down the Days. Alongside Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" and James Blunt's "You're Beautiful," Imbruglia's song "Shiver" was nominated for the Ivor Novello Award in the PRS most-performed work category in 2006.
- Greg Prato (All Music Guide)