Delta is on the cover of Madison’s January issue. Delta tells Madison’s Elizabeth Renkert about finding her “Voice” – and in turn herself.
When I first met Delta Goodrem back in 2007, we were on the set of her first-ever madison cover shoot. It was a sunny Sydney afternoon, and she was in a playful mood, all smiles and noticeably loved up with then-fiancé Brian McFadden. Five years on, we’re together again, and it’s more than apparent she’s been through some changes. Today, on her new shoot in Los Angeles, she arrives dressed in head-to-toe Chanel, a fitting look given she exudes the air of a more sophisticated, more knowing and certainly more independent woman.
Goodrem has been through a lot for somebody so young – meteoric fame, a battle with cancer, love affairs under intense public scrutiny – but I reckon she’s all the better for it. There is a depth to her that’s often lacking in those who began their career as child stars.
Goodrem’s list of professional achievements easily makes her one of our most successful exports, past or present. Her latest album, Child of the Universe, is her first in five years. And it’s gotten just the reaction she had been hoping for. “Everyone is being really positive about it. I feel really proud of and peaceful about the record, but I was quite emotional when it was first released. I put so much into it. When it finally came out it closed a chapter for me. I was a bit teary,” says Goodrem.
Goodrem is currently single, confessing she “needs” to be alone for the first time since she started dating. Her love-life has always been very public – but then, that will happen when you hook up with the likes of Mark Philippoussis, Brian McFadden and Nick Jonas.
Her protracted break-up with bad boy McFadden in 2011 saw Goodrem leave Australia’s shores and set up a more permanent home in Los Angeles. Has she learned much from past relationships? “It’s so important to notice your own patterns and make sure you don’t repeat them,” she replies. “And to always keep learning. Staying who you are, and finding people that bring out the best in you is what it’s meant to be about. I don’t think I’ve experienced that yet… I can love easily so I have to watch myself.”
McFadden has since married model Vogue Williams; he never notified Goodrem. “It wasn’t my style to be a public tabloid. I never saw myself, from the day I started, as that territory. But that relationship did drag me into a place that wasn’t really natural for me… The relationship [with McFadden] has been over for so long. I don’t feel anything anymore. I don’t have anything left.”
Goodrem got the chance to channel Mum – and renew her popularity with the Australian public – when she returned to the public eye with her role as a mentor on the inaugural local season of The Voice early in 2012. It seems everyone has a strong opinion on Goodrem, and are quick to sound those opinions, especially via social media where she earned a groundswell of support along with a whole heap of catty commentary.
Surely all that hit a nerve? Her response is measured: “I loved being on The Voice but the controversy surrounding my performance snowballed into something that didn’t even exist. I am the least controversial artist you will talk to! I just love music and I’ve tried to transition from a teenager into my late 20s. If there have been flare-ups or storms, I haven’t been the one creating them. It tests my patience because I know who I am and I won’t take it on if people are being negative.”
Goodrem speaks of her fans warmly, so much so that many people feel very comfortable (perhaps too comfortable) with the singer and approach her as if they know her intimately – it happened during our second interview in Sydney. A middle-aged man spied Delta in the hotel lobby and charged headfirst into sharing a long-winded opinion on her relationship with “that tennis player”. (Never mind the relationship with Philippoussis has been over for close to a decade!)
Being “on” for the past 13 years means Goodrem has had to work to find ways to unwind. She meditates whenever possible, when at home in LA she does Pilates on her outdoor deck and hikes with friends in the Hollywood Hills. “I’m very fortunate. I love my home in LA. And my home with Mum in Sydney is my sanctuary – that’s where my roots are! As a Scorpio, peaceful times to myself are crucial. And I don’t find them in the city. Some people need the water, but I need to be near the trees, in the garden…”
Yet Goodrem is just as quick to declare that her greatest love may actually be touring and performing for fans – two activities that allow her to be on a stage, pouring her heart out to thousands of people. It’s an interesting dichotomy, one she manages to embody with humility and an enviable amount of composure.
Read the full story in madison’s January issue out December 19th.
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