Christine Anu channels Aretha Franklin to get her own bit of respect, Cris Kennedy of the Canberra Times writes:
With her 1995 album Stylin’ Up, Christine Anu made her name as a singer with a bright future. While the album had a hit with the fun song Party and the gorgeous Monkey and the Turtle, based on a traditional story, it was her cover of a song written by Neil Murray of the Warrumpi Band for which she is still most known.
With her Torres Strait Islander heritage, Anu made My Island Home her own, and touched an emotional chord not just with an indigenous audience but greater Australia. The song is still in high rotation on commercial radio, Anu sang it at the Sydney 2000 Olympics closing ceremony, and after a long day of interview for her current project one gets the impression the dozen or so journalists she has spoken to before me may have mentioned it a couple of times.
Anu has parlayed the profile the song gave her into a full career in the 15 years since, from film appearances (Dating the Enemy, Moulin Rouge, Matrix Reloaded), television work (Pop Stars, Play School, The Wiggles) and a number of extended seasons of theatre (Little Shop of Horrors, Rent). She has released four albums since, and stands as one of our most successful indigenous performers, a role model for all young Australians looking for a career in the performing arts.
Anu is currently touring the country with Rewind … The Aretha Franklin Songbook, playing Friday at the Southern Cross Club. The show was her manager’s idea, after Anu had talked about wanting to get back to performing live, but the impetus for this tour came when her 2010 single Come Home failed to chart. ”A lot of money went into that to no fruition,” she says, ”so I guess I wanted to go hide out doing other things.
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