Delta Goodrem Back To The Spotlight



Joanna Hunkin
After five years in the media spotlight, a battle with cancer and a series of high-profile relationships, Australian singer Delta Goodrem needed time out.

Two years later, she is back with her third album Delta and determined to "do a better job this time round".

The singer, who turns 23 on Friday, said she had been in a chaotic environment from the age of 15 and was feeling "a bit bruised".

"I think I just needed to do what people do after uni - I needed a year off."

Relocating to Britain, Goodrem said she deliberately moved away from Australia to give the public a break from her.

The songwriter, who is dating former Westlife singer Brian McFadden, said she stopped writing songs as she was tired of talking about her personal experiences.

"Brian definitely got me back into [songwriting]. He said, 'Get back behind the piano and do some work'. In a really positive way. He's a great influence."

The self-titled third album, though personal, is lighter than Goodrem's second effort Mistaken Identity, which she described as complicated and bombastic.

"I was complicated, I was intense, I was guarded, I was hurt. And I needed to get through that to write this album," she explained.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003, Goodrem said her illness had changed her outlook but did not define her.

"It changes your perspective on life, in much deeper colours than you could explain in an interview. You look at the world differently but you also heal from that too.

"It's an intense time. It's not much fun. Everything I knew up until 18 definitely changed after that."

In addition to battling cancer, which generated a storm of media interest in her homeland, Goodrem found herself confronted with multiple stories about her then-boyfriend, tennis player Mark Philippoussis, and his alleged infidelity.

Goodrem also found herself the target of British tabloid attention when she began seeing McFadden, who had just separated from former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona.

Speaking of the unwanted media attention, Goodrem said she had learned to take the good with the bad.

"If there's something negative, I try to block it off. Personal attacks I don't agree with but when it comes to music, I understand it's completely subjective. After that first couple of knocks, you learn to laugh at yourself. I was very sensitive when I started and if I was still like that I wouldn't be able to do what I do."

After stepping out of the limelight, Goodrem said she felt stronger than ever.

"I do what I do and I'm very comfortable in what I do. I love music, I love to perform."

The new album debuted at number one on the Australian album charts this week.

"I never expect anything or take anything for granted. It was wonderful to see that people have been so patient with me and gone out and bought the album after so long away."

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