DELTA GOODREM 2002-2020

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You Will Only Break My Heart (D Goodrem/ S Crichton/T L James/B McFadden) and I Can’t Break It to My Heart (D Goodrem/S Kotecha/K Lundin) – Delta Goodrem 2008

You Will Only Break My Heart became the fourth single off the Delta album to climb into the Australian top ten, it was perky, upbeat and cleverly merged funky reggae rhythms with electro-dance beats, in a very Kylie Minogue-style dancefloor banger. Delta used a vocal melisma on the word “baaaaby” as she got playful and poppy in a way quite different from many of her earlier self-absorbed “journey of life” songs, and it resonated with her fans. The song and its accompanying music video were also more frivolous and fun-filled, in the vid Delta plays five different personas, punk rock, hard rock, fortune teller, diva, and natural, and the song charted #6 locally.

Delta embraces her more frivolous, celebratory persona, less angst and more animation.

The last single to chart from the album was the piano ballad  I Can’t Break it to My Heart, co-composed by Delta with two songwriters with whom she had not worked before, Savan Kotecha, an Indian-American whose songs had sold over 300 million copies for such artists as One Direction, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Usher, Westlife, and Swedish songwriter/producer Kristian Lundin, a member of the famed Cheiron hit factory in Stockholm where he had co-composed hits for NSYNC, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Celine Dion. This song was one of Delta’s saddest most heartfelt ballads and the lyrics revealed a vulnerability that was touching “But if I still believe you love me/Maybe I’ll survive/So I tell myself you’re coming home/Like you’ve done a million times/And if it’s alright/I’ll still be loving you/’Cause I can’t break it to my heart”

It became Delta’s last hit for the decade when it charted at #9 locally, other tracks on the album that showed promise included Brave Face and the last track, Angels in the Room, a restrained, melodic, ballad that had a truthful authenticity about it. Less impressive were the tracks Guardian which was overblown and masochistic, and Woman, with its pleadingly cynical chorus “I am a woman/A woman with heart/And I need to be loved/ ‘Cause being just your woman is not enough”. 

One of Delta’s saddest songs, the pathos, vulnerabiity, and anguish of unrequited love.

The album Delta returned disappointing sales numbers despite hitting #1 in Australia, #12 in NZ and being a minor hit in Japan, and failure to make an impact in either the UK nor the US, caused total sales to plateau at a desultory 260,000 copies globally, a number many Australian artists would have readily accepted, but when your debut album shifted over 4 million units, it would have sounded alarm bells inside Team Delta.

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 In 2008 Delta focused on expanding her markets in the USA and Japan, but whilst she made some headway in Japan, she was generally regarded as a Celine Dion wannabe in the US and struggled to compete for market share in the Adult Contemporary niche in which she had been slotted. She kicked off the Believe Again national tour in 2009 and the concert tour video became a #1 hit with sales of over 7,500, she also won the 2008 ARIA award for the Highest-Selling Album. Below- Delta’s home in the Hollywood Hills, the interior decor was a monument to Barbie, Disney Fairy Princess, Disco, and Las Vegas Lounge.

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In 2010 Goodrem relocated to Los Angeles, she badly wanted to sign a new deal with a major US label and launch her career stateside, and she purchased a house in the Hollywood Hills for USD$3.1m which became her base there. Dubbed the House of Oz, Delta and Brian were joined by live-in friends Renee Barghe, a former Foxtel presenter who was a co-host on NBC’s entertainment show Extra, and songwriter/producer Vincent Pizzinga who had already collaborated with Delta on many of her album tracks. Below House of Oz Besties – Delta and Renee Barghe, Delta and Vince Pizzinga, Delta and Brian

It was around this time that cracks began to appear in the Goodrem/McFadden relationship, he had a reputation as a loud, roguish, hard-drinking party animal, who had married ex- Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona in 2002, they were both 22 and had already had a daughter, Molly in 2001. Below – Brian, Kerry Katona and their two daughters.

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McFadden had also admitted his infidelity just before the wedding with a lap dancer at his stag party, but their second daughter Lilly-Sue (2003) duly arrived, and Katona said that she and Brian were “soul mates”. The pair separated in 2004, and were divorced in 2006, by 2004 McFadden was already in a relationship with Goodrem and their duet Almost Here, lifted from Delta’s second album Mistaken Identity in 2005 was a hit, and the pair became the new golden couple of the local tabloids. But the British tabloids weren’t so enamored, and branded Goodrem a homewrecker and McFadden a love rat and uncaring parent, despite the fact that he and Katona were irrevocably estranged by 2004 and heading for divorce in 2006. Below – Kerry and hubby #2 George Croft, marriage of Kerry and George with their brood, Kerry Katona.

In 2007 Delta and Brian announced their engagement, meanwhile Katona was getting married to taxi driver Mark Croft, with whom she would have two children, Heidi (2007), and Maxwell (2008). In the same year Katona filed for bankruptcy with unpaid taxes of £86,000, and a year later in 2009 she was filmed snorting cocaine in a sting by the News of the World, and lost her lucrative celebrity endorsements. She would divorce Croft in 2011 and marry her driver, ex-rugby player George Kay in 2014, with whom she would have a daughter Dylan-Jorge. Katona and Kay would be divorced in 2017 amidst claims of domestic abuse and drug-fueled tirades, and Kay ultimately died of a cocaine overdose in 2019. Katona’s drug offences and her increasingly parlous financial position, (she would file for bankruptcy a second time in 2013), had raised speculation that Brian and Delta would seek custody of Brian’s two daughters, but this did not eventuate, as no doubt child-rearing an instant family as their stepmother, had little appeal to Delta who was career-focused, and also having doubts about a future with McFadden anyway. Below- Kerry Katona photographed in News of the World “nose beers” sting.

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McFadden and Katona traded jibes and insults via social media frequently after their split and divorce, she claimed that McFadden was an absentee parent which he denied and his tweets about Katona included such comments as “you are dead to me, you pig-faced mole, you are a disgusting human being”, etc. In 2011 McFadden was reported by Virgin Airlines staff for being drunk and abusive on a flight between LA and Sydney, he was interviewed by police but no formal charges were laid. Below – Kerry and hubby #3 George Kay, Kerry, Delta and Brian arguing in public in Aussie pub.

Clearly these were not the kind of toxic relationships that Goodrem wanted to be embroiled in, she had been trolled on-line and hammered by the UK tabloids, and her and McFadden had led a rather rootless existence throughout 2004-2011 residing in London, NYC, LA and Sydney, while pursuing their respective careers, and enabling McFadden to exercise visitation rights with his children in the UK. In 2011, they finally split, she has commented that their lives had become dysfunctional, and there were media reports that their relationship was feisty, fractious, and untenable, subsequently Goodrem would express regrets that she hadn’t terminated the relationship sooner, as she moved on to seek solace and comfort in the arms of US singer Nick Jonas, who was eight years younger than Delta. Below – Delta and Nick “The Kid” Jonas.

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