Indigenous Artist - Casey Donovan

Casey Donovan

Birth name Casey Donovan
Born 13 May 1988 (age 22)
Origin Bankstown, New South Wales
Occupations Singer-songwriter,
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Genres Pop, rock
Years active 2004-present
Labels Sony BMG (2004-2006)
Independent (2006-present)
Associated acts Guy Sebastian,
Kate DeAraugo, Damien Leith,

Early life

Casey Donovan came from a family with several of her relatives pursuing musical careers, including her father, a member of indigenous country band The Donovans. After her parents divorced, her mother and siblings moved in with stepfather Norm Axford. Growing up, Casey was always interested in singing and was lucky enough to stay in touch with cousins Shalena and Jaleesa as well as occasional contact with Emma. Contact with the Donovan cousins fostered interest in both singing and playing guitar which led to busking on the streets of Tamworth during the Country Music Festival when she was 10. Casey's musical interest was noticed at Bass Hill Public School and Georges Hall Primary but was not enough to have any public notice. It was not until her life at Condell Park High that her talent became noticed and was supported especially by both her mother and stepfather.

Australian Idol (2004)

Donovan transferred to the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney's Surry Hills in 2004 and it was in this year that her stepfather encouraged her to audition for the second season of Australian Idol. While Donovan performed well throughout the Australian Idol competition and received countless praise from all three judges for her flawless performances and studio standard vocals, she was not widely considered a favorite to win.

During the competition she received some outside success and won the Most Promising New Talent Award at the 2004 The Deadlys, which honours indigenous talent in Australia. Nevertheless, she surprised many by being the first to get through to the 2004 final where she defeated widespread favorite Anthony Callea. Despite critics claiming her record sales were low when compared to other Idol finalists such as Season 1 winner Guy Sebastian, Season 1 Runner-upShannon Noll and even her own runner-up Anthony Callea, Donovan has achieved 5 Platinum accreditations, making her the sixth highest selling Australian Idol alumni overall.

Post-Idol career

After the hype of 'Australian Idol died down, Donovan spent time re-evaluating her career and re-establishing herself as a solo Independent artist, with the release of an independent EP Eye 2 Eye. Donovan also re-established herself as one of Australia's most promising Indigenous entertainers, with regular appearances on Vibe Alive Tours and a regular segment onDeadly Sounds with Rhoda Roberts.

Donovan returned to music with the release of her single"Big, Beautiful & Sexy" in August 2010, which went on to reach #9 in the AIR Charts. "Big, Beautiful and Sexy" has also become an anthem for larger women. The song also seen Donovan's online Facebook support group Big, Beautiful & Sexy (which attracted nearly 2000 fans in its first weeks) grow to over 6000 fans. Donovan herself has lost over 20kg and continued her support of larger men and women as they achieve their life goals. Casey went on to release another single in November 2010 titled "Last Regret" which saw the continuation of support from fans and media, and also gained some commercial airplay.

In December 2010, Casey was nominated for two awards in the 2010 Sydney Theatre Awards for "Newcomer" and "Supporting Actress", continuing to receive praise and recognition from the industry for her work in The Sapphires. In August/September 2011, Casey will create the role of Mama Cass in the world premiere of new musical "flowerchildren - the mamas and papas story" written by Peter Fitzpatrick. Produced by pioneering Australian company Magnormos, Casey will be joined by Matt Hetherington as Papa John, Laura Fitzpatrick as Mama Michelle, and Dan Humphris as Papa Denny.

Donovan also lends her name and support to a number of charitable and non-profit organisations. Donovan is an Ambassador for APRA/AMCOS and an Advocate for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

Casey Donovan

Casey Donovan

One of the Featured Artists for the Sorry Day will be our own Casey Donovan.
Casey Donovan was never expected to win Australian Idol. From the outset she was the outsider. Neither contrived, media savvy, Hollywood glam or predictable, Casey was always exactly who she is: herself. Raw, messy, vociferous, vulnerable and determined, .

Read about Casey here