Natalie Bassingthwaighte (/ˈbæsɪŋɡθwæɪt/; born 1 September 1975) is an Australian recording artist, actress, and television personality. Born and raised in Wollongong, New South Wales, she began her acting career in 1998 with guest appearances in television shows. Bassingthwaighte rose to prominence in 2003 on the Australian soap opera Neighbours for her role as Izzy Hoyland, which earned her three Logie Award nominations.
In 2004, she was recruited as the lead singer of Australian electro-pop band, Rogue Traders. After leaving Neighbours in 2006 to focus on her music career, Bassingthwaighte released a cover of "Don't Give Up" with Shannon Noll, which peaked at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum. In 2008, she left Rogue Traders to pursue her solo music career. Bassingthwaighte released her debut solo album 1000 Stars in 2009, which spawned the platinum top-ten hits "Alive" and "Someday Soon". The album was a commercial success, debuting at number-one on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified gold.
Aside from her acting and music career, Bassingthwaighte co-wrote her first book, Sistahood: A Journal of Self-Discovery, with her younger sister in 2008. That same year, she made her debut as a television presenter, hosting So You Think You Can Dance Australia until 2010 when the show was axed. From 2011 to 2014, she was a judge and mentor on The X Factor Australia, and later joined The X Factor New Zealand in 2015. Bassingthwaighte has been married twice; in 1998 she married Graham Wilmott, a chef from Wollongong, for two years. In December 2011, she married her former Rogue Traders' bandmate Cameron McGlinchey. The couple have two children, a daughter named Harper Rain Sinclair McGlinchey and a son named Hendrix John Hickson McGlinchey.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte was born on 1 September 1975 in Wollongong, New South Wales to Betty (born ca. 1953) and Michael Bassingthwaighte (AM) (born ca. 1952). Betty has worked as a theatre nurse, beauty therapist and hairdresser. Since 1982 Michael has worked as the CEO of a health care insurance provider. Bassingthwaighte grew up in the suburb of Mount Warrigal as the second of four girls with her older sister Melinda (born ca. 1974) and the twins, Lisa and Nicole (born ca. 1982). From a young age, she used to charge 20c for family and friends to come and see her dress up and put on mini concerts. Bassingthwaighte got her first role in a primary school production at Balarang Primary School of Peter Pan, playing the character Tinker Bell. She enrolled at Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts and graduated from the Australian College of Entertainment.
After college, Bassingthwaighte successfully auditioned for a job at a theme park, Wonderland Sydney. She participated in a variety of performances, including 1950s, 1970s, country and Hanna Barbara shows. After working at Wonderland Sydney, Bassingthwaighte performed for two seasons as lead vocalist and stand up comic at the Kaos Comedy Theatre restaurant in Sydney. During that time she auditioned for other musicals. Bassingthwaighte was chosen from over 6000 people for the role as Mrs. Cohen in the Australian tour of the rock musical, Rent (1999). During Rent's tour, she auditioned for another stage production, Chicago. The casting directors were initially dubious given that she was not an A-List dancer, however she won the role of June and understudied the principal role of Roxie Hart. In 2002, during Chicago 's run in Perth, Bassingthwaighte and some cast and crew members decided to visit The Pinnacles, a limestone formation and tourist attraction about 190 kilometres (120 mi) north-west of Perth. On the way there they became lost and their 4WD broke down - they were rescued by a Navy helicopter. Her first lead role was in the Asian production Chang & Eng - it depicts the biography of the first Siamese twins - she portrayed Adelaide Yates in both the Singapore and Bangkok seasons of the show.
2004-08: Rogue Traders:
Bassingthwaighte had considered a music career for some years and had been a member of an R&B group, but it did not work out and her interest focused on other options. By 2004 she began working on her own demos: songs with an acoustic-rock sound and, late that year, she was recruited as the lead singer for Australian electro-pop band, Rogue Traders. Rogue Traders had formed in 2002 with James Ash on keyboards and Steve Davis on guitars, the group had used a variety of guest vocalists and issued a debut album before seeking a permanent singer. After being presented with the band's music, Bassingthwaighte auditioned for Ash and Davis. The pair had auditioned 15 to 20 candidates, and after she performed their song "Voodoo Child", she became the band's front woman.
In May 2005, the band released "Voodoo Child" as their fifth single--the first with Bassingwaighte--which reached number four on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum for shipments of 70,000 units in Australia. "Voodoo Child" also reached number seven on the New Zealand Singles Chart, number three on the UK Singles Chart and number fifteen on the Irish Singles Chart. The single won the award for "Best Dance Video" at the 2006 MTV Australia Awards. The follow-up singles "Way to Go!" and "Watching You" also reached the ARIA top ten and both were certified gold for shipment of 35,000 units. In October 2005, the group issued their second studio album, Here Come the Drums, which reached number two on the ARIA Albums Chart and spent a total of seventy-four weeks in the Top 50. It was certified 4× platinum and became their most successful album. The album received four nominations at the ARIA Music Awards of 2006 for "Breakthrough Artist - Album", "Best Pop Release", "Highest Selling Album" and "Best Group".
While Bassingthwaighte was still a member of Rogue Traders, she also made solo appearances and releases. In December 2006 she performed a duet with label mate Shannon Noll on their cover version of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up", for the various artists' album Home: Songs of Hope & Journey. Noll and Bassingthwaighte's version reached number two on the ARIA Singles Chart. She recorded "O Holy Night" for the album The Spirit of Christmas 2006, a Christmas compilation album for which all proceeds go to The Salvation Army in Australia. In 2007 Bassingthwaighte and Noll teamed up again for "Please Come Home for Christmas" on the album, The Spirit of Christmas 2007.
In October 2007 Rogue Traders released their third album, Better in the Dark, which spawned the hit singles "Don't You Wanna Feel" and "I Never Liked You" - both were certified gold, and "What You're On". The album debuted on the ARIA Albums Chart at number four and gained a platinum accreditation. For this album, Bassingthwaighte is credited as a co-composer for five of its twelve tracks, including all three singles. She worked with Ash and his wife Melinda Appleby on some tracks, "we'd sit in a room and throw ideas around ... It was interesting that all three of us instinctively knew when we had a great idea". At the APRA Awards of 2009, "Don't You Wanna Feel" was nominated as Dance Work of the Year. In June 2008, Bassingthwaighte left the group to pursue her solo career. She had signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia in 2006 to embark on a solo career. In November 2009, Rogue Traders recruited Mindi Jackson as her replacement.
2008-present: 1000 Stars:
In June 2008, Bassingthwaighte began working on her debut solo album, 1000 Stars. In October 2008, the album's lead single, "Alive", was released; it peaked at number eight on the ARIA Singles Chart and gained a platinum certificate. In January 2009, a second single, "Someday Soon", was issued which became Bassingthwaighte's third top ten single on the ARIA Charts and was also certified platinum. The album was released on 20 February 2009, which debuted on the ARIA Albums Chart at number one and was certified gold.
In April 2009, the album's title track was released as the third single. It reached number thirty on the ARIA Singles Chart. "Not For You" was released in July 2009 as the fourth single and it failed to chart. The fifth single, "Love Like This", appeared in January 2010, which reached the Top 100. It was used to raise awareness by the Aids Council of New South Wales for the 'Wear It With Pride' t-shirt campaign in the lead-up to that year's Sydney Mardi Gras parade. For 1000 Stars, Bassingthwaighte co-composed seven of its fifteen tracks, including "Alive" and "Someday Soon".
In January 2011, Bassingthwaighte returned to theatre, performing at the Sydney Opera House, in Love, Loss and What I Wore, a play "about women, their relationships and memories", where she co-starred with Judi Farr, Mirrah Foulkes, Amanda Muggleton and Magda Szubanski. On 28 August 2011, Bassingthwaighte told The Daily Telegraph that she had recorded several new tracks, with her single "All We Have" expected to be released soon. She said, "Everything is coming together ... I did lose my mojo for a while, I just didn't believe in doing something unless you're totally up for it. I wasn't feeling creative and then, suddenly, it was Christmas and it just felt right". "All We Have" was released in September 2011 and it failed to chart. In February 2012, Bassingthwaighte was announced as a Moomba Monarch alongside Harry Kewell, the Australian socceroo. In December 2014, Bassingthwaighte and other Australian singers recorded a cover version of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" under the name "Hope for Isla and Jude", and released it as a charity single to help raise funds for two siblings who suffer from the rare disease Sanfilippo syndrome.
In March-April 2012, Bassingthwaighte travelled to Bangladesh as an ambassador for Vicks Australia and Save the Children's project, Breathe for Life, which highlighted pneumonia-infected children and their parents' inability to afford health care. She encouraged fellow Australians to support the project to train health workers, village doctors and caregivers and reduce the impact of pneumonia. In March 2015, Bassingthwaighte launched her own children's clothing label, Chi Khi. The collection features natural bamboo cotton fabrics and clothing for both boys and girls aged zero to four. It was made available to buy online from 2 March.
Bassingthwaighte's first television role as an actress was in a 1998 episode of the hospital-based drama series All Saints. In 2000, she had a guest appearance in an episode of The Lost World, playing the role of Raina. She gained greater popular acclaim on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, playing the role of Izzy Hoyland from 2003 to 2006. This was her first full-time television role. Upon securing the role, she relocated from Sydney to Melbourne. Bassingthwaighte was nominated for a Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality and a Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Actress in 2006, for her role on the show. Bassingthwaighte left Neighbours in 2006 to focus on her music career and filmed her final scenes on 2 June 2006. In March 2007, she reprised her role as Izzy Hoyland in scenes shot while on location in London in November 2006. Bassingthwaighte received another nomination for Most Popular Actress at the 2007 Logie Awards. Bassingthwaighte appeared in a documentary special celebrating the show's 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the United Kingdom in March 2015.
In 2008, Bassingthwaighte made her debut as a television presenter, hosting the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. She hosted the show for its first three seasons and received two nominations at the 2009 Logie Awards for a Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality and a Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Presenter. She received another nomination for Most Popular Presenter at the 2010 Logie Awards. From April to June 2010, Bassingthwaighte starred in the 13-part television crime mini-series, Underbelly: The Golden Mile, playing the role of Maria Haken, the wife of Trevor Haken who is a corrupt Kings Cross detective. The Hakens are a real-life couple, where the husband, Trevor, became an informant and witness at the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption. Bassingthwaighte's character was described as "the adulterous and neglected wife" and her husband's "drinking and neglect led her to begin an affair with another police officer". In 2011, Bassingthwaighte replaced Natalie Imbruglia as a judge and mentor on the third season of The X Factor Australia. She also returned for the show's fourth, fifth and sixth seasons. In 2015, Bassingthwaighte replaced Natalia Kills midway through the second season of The X Factor New Zealand after Kills was fired from the show.
In 2003, Bassingthwaighte appeared in the telemovie Counterstrike, playing the character of Kelly. The following year, she filmed a part in Rohan Sprong's student film When Darkness Falls--it was released in 2006 after editing. She portrayed the character of Jinx De-Luxe, which involved a performance of the Marilyn Monroe song "Every Baby Needs a Da-da-daddy". In 2009, Bassingthwaighte starred in the Australian horror film Prey alongside Jesse Johnson, Christian Clark and Nicholas Bell, playing the role of Kate, an ambitious young surgeon working in the emergency department of a major city hospital. Part of the plot concerned three couples who become lost in outback Western Australia--Bassingthwaighte remembered similarities to her trip to The Pinnacles. The film was directed by George T. Miller and grossed $744 at the box office in Australia. In July 2010, for a DVD release in the US, it was re-titled as The Outback.
Bassingthwaighte is often referred to as Nat Bass in the media and by fans. At 161 cm (5 ft 3 in), she is described as "pint-sized" and "tiny". During adolescence, Bassingthwaighte was bullied at school about her body shape and lack of development. In late 1998, she married Graham Wilmott, a chef from Wollongong, the couple were together for two years.
In April 2008, Bassingthwaighte released her first book, Sistahood: A Journal of Self-Discovery. It was co-written, over two years, with her younger sister Nicole Moore, and is aimed at boosting teen and pre-teen girls' self-esteem. The book features activities and is filled with pictures of Bassingthwaighte's life with her three sisters: Moore, Lisa Fogarty and Melinda Sheldrick.
In August 2010, Bassingwaighte and her long-time boyfriend Cameron McGlinchey, welcomed the birth of their daughter Harper Rain Sinclair McGlinchey, weighing 3.22 kg at a private Melbourne hospital. Bassingthwaighte and McGlinchey were married on 4 December 2011. In May 2013, she gave birth to their second child, a son named Hendrix John Hickson McGlinchey.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license