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Artist Detail - BBC Entertainment

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes
As the elder statesman of Oz Rock, Jimmy Barnes has carved out the most successful solo career of any performer in Australian rock history (with the possible exceptions of Johnny O'Keefe and John Farnham). Popularly known as 'Barnsey', the gravel-voiced blues belter has been feted by prominent Australians of all persuasions and was the first local musician to be interviewed on 60 Minutes (March 1988). He retained his popularity due to a down-to-earth 'just one of the boys' charm.

Jimmy Barnes was born James Swan in Glasgow, Scotland during 1956. His family emigrated to Australia when he was four years old. The Swan family (including his brother John, aka Swanee) settles in the tough migrant working-class suburb of Elizabeth in Adelaide, South Australia. His mother remarried and Jim Swan adopted his stepfather's surname of Barnes. Barnes's first band was called Tarkus, but he rose to national prominence as frontman for Cold Chisel, one of Australia's best loved bands. Driven by a voracious will to succeed, he launched his solo career immediately after Cold Chisel broke up in late 1983.

As well as collaborations with INXS, John Farnham and The Badloves, Jimmy Barnes has recorded successful duets with Tina Turner '(Simply) The Best'/'River Deep Mountain High' (which reached #14 in June 1992) and Nathan Cavaleri ('Gonna See My Baby Tonight', September 1993), Jimmy Barnes is an Australian phenomenon. He has sold over six million records in a country of 17 million people. To date, major overseas success has eluded him. Nevertheless, Barnes looms large as the admirable journeyman musician who has consistently revitalised his career with quality input and earnest execution.