Adelaide’s most famous musicians

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/21/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

Adelaide gets a bit of a bad rap from the larger Australian cities. Notoriously thought to be the “boring city” or a “sleepy town” by Melbourne and Sydney, what they often forget is that some of Australia’s best-known talents have hailed from here.

While Melbourne and Sydney are busy throwing shade, Adelaide is producing some of the country’s best artists.

  • Sia Furler

    Known professionally only as Sia, the singer-songwriter shot to popularity with the release of Elastic Heart in 2013. The song initially featured The Weekend and Diplo as part of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. In the following year, her sixth studio Album 100 Forms of Fear was released with the lead single Chandelier. The song peaked at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, Sia’s first entry to the chart. The rest, as they say, is history!

    Sia has since played sold-out tours and continued to enjoy musical success. Though she performed without covering her face for many years prior to her break our album, she found fame to be a struggle. As a result, she has played most of her shows with her face covered, typically by a large wig. Sia has said that since making this decision she has been able to live a relatively normal life as people do not recognise her in the streets. She recalls one-day shopping in a Target while her songs were playing and no one recognising her.

    There has been some speculation to where Sia is from, Australia or New Zealand, but we’re here to set the record straight. Not only was she born in Australia, but in the wonderful city of Adelaide.

  • Bon Scott

    Though born in Scotland, Bon Scott found his fame in Adelaide. He always had a musical flare and moved around between bands as a young man. After moving to Adelaide in the 1970s, Scott joined the band Fraternity, but they soon went on a hiatus in 1973. The following year, while attending an AC/DC concert, Scott jumped on stage and began signing. The band has just fried their lead singer, and he was an instant match.

    AC/DC went on to become one of Australia’s greatest musical success stories. AC/DCs albums became internationally famed and their signature hard rock has become embedded in Australian culture. Scott remained lead singer of the band until his sudden death in 1980.

  • Cold Chisel + Jimmy Barnes

    Cold Chisel has been bringing together generations of Australians since their formation in Adelaide in 1973. Their pub rock is uniquely Australian and tells the stories of the Australian working class. They have become icons of the Australian music industry with songs such as Khe Sanh, Breakfast at Sweethearts, Cheap Wine, and Flame Trees cemented in Australian memory.  Though their success has been mainly focused in Australia and New Zealand, they are well worth checking out if you’re looking for a real taste of Australian music.

    Lead singer Jimmy Barnes has also had a successful solo career during the bands hiatus. The Scottish-Australian has drawn inspiration from his working class youth to create a multitude of successful albums. His music tells stories about his struggles and success in life, many of which listeners relate to their own lives.

As you can see, Adelaide has produced some talented individuals over the years, and we’re sure that there are more to come!

Be sure to take a wander through Rundle Mall to enjoy local buskers. You never know, you may just be getting a free show from Australia’s next musical superstar.

Related article: Interesting facts you might not know about Adelaide

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.