In her 20 years in the music industry, Delta Goodrem has been Australia’s sweetheart, then a target for the country’s tall poppy syndrome. Now, she’s stepping into her own with a new album, tour and a marie claire cover to boot.
After signing a record deal at 15, scoring a role on Neighbours at 17 and releasing her debut album Innocent Eyes at 18, Delta’s stratospheric rise to fame was dramatically derailed when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma blood cancer.
Her cancer battle is the inspiration between her brave new music – including the recently-released single ‘Paralyzed’ – and also her namesake foundation, dedicated to finding a cure to blood cancers. “Because I know what cancer patients go through, there’s no wall between us,” she says. “I started my career with the same intention that I have today: to bring love and light through music. With the foundation, I feel like I can impact people’s lives in an even greater way. I hope it will be my biggest legacy.”
Delta’s mission to bring love and light hasn’t always been an easy one. In 2012 when she first joined The Voice as a judge and mentor, Delta was criticised for her dancing, her enthusiasm and her seeming “perfection”. The trolls called her annoying, insufferable and try-hard. At the time, Delta admitted the negative comments left her “devastated, absolutely broken”.
Now, eight years and as many seasons on, she’s come to terms with that difficult chapter in her life, which she dissects on her forthcoming album. “I don’t think all of it [the criticism] was fair, but there’s a lot I can reflect on. At the time, being 27 and on TV, my brain could compute that it was a part of the cycle, but it still hurt me,” says Delta, now 35 and loved up with boyfriend Matthew Copley, adding that the painful experience was ultimately liberating. “It’s one thing to know of something, and it’s another thing to have walked it. That chapter taught me resilience and made me stronger. What a gift. Now, when the stars align and things are going great – like now – I just really enjoy and cherish it, for however long it lasts.”
Read more in the September issue of marie claire, on sale Thursday.