Growing up as a child actor and then becoming a teenage pop star means you are always in the public eye.
Add in a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer) at the age of 18 and life can be pretty tough.
The news of pop icon Delta Goodrem dealing with a major health issue at such a young age made headlines, and led Delta to put her career on hold while she undertook chemotherapy, radiation therapy and the loss of her crowning glory—her hair.
But more than 19 years later she is not just surviving, but thriving, with a new album and a national Wings of the Wild tour this month and the next.
With cancer support organisation CanTeen’s major annual fundraiser National Bandanna Day on 28 October, Delta’s journey through illness reminds us that, ‘There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its shoots will not die’ (Job chapter 14 verse 7).
Delta is certainly one ‘tree’ determined to survive and sprout new shoots.
Recently, she appeared on the SBS TV show Who Do You Think You Are? where we watched this sunny-natured young woman track down the ancestors from whom she might have inherited her talent. There was a stage performer several generations earlier, plus a number of revelations that floored Delta.
What we saw was a natural young woman with charm and sincerity—beautiful inside and out. Despite some major ups and downs in personal relationships, she has been an admirable role model for a generation of young Australian women.
Delta has been described as one of Australia’s most successful musicians, with over eight million record sales.
From the age of seven, Delta appeared in television commercials and had minor roles in Australian TV series such as A Country Practice and Police Rescue, before scoring the breakthrough role of aspiring singer Nina Tucker on Neighbours in 2002, which led to a career focused on music, recording CDs and concert tours.
She has also been a judge on the reality TV show The Voice, and last year embarked on music theatre, playing Grizabella in the musical Cats. Predictably, there were criticisms of celebrity casting, with a pop singer taking a plum music theatre performer’s role. But Delta made it a success, and attracted a lot of her pop music fans to try music theatre, as well as adding significantly to the box office takings.
As she told Warcry journalist Jessica Morris on ppcorn.com, ‘I hadn’t done musical theatre before, and it seemed like a genuine, natural transition to do, when I’d done music and acting my whole life.’
Her current Wings of the Wild tour features 15 years of her hits, and she is determined that the tour will call to everyone who has experienced a personal battle.
Delta is determined to embrace her past and push forward into the future—something which we should all aspire to.