Damien Leith has made his mark in Australia as a singer, songwriter, producer, author, playwright and tv/radio host personality. He is an avid storyteller and writes adult and children’s literature. The family man first captured the attention and affection of Australians when he contested the 2006 edition of Australian Idol – a series he went on to win. Since then his career has skyrocketed, but he has remained charming, grounded and modest – securing him a place as a popular and well-loved Australian and now international personality.
In just over 14 years Damien has enjoyed platinum-selling albums and been nominated for multiple awards including arias, Golden Guitar, MTV Australia video music awards and Helpmann awards. His aria wins include number 1 chart awards for the albums WHERE WE LAND and the winner’s journey, highest selling album (THE WINNER’S JOURNEY), and highest selling single and number 1 chart award for the track, NIGHT OF MY LIFE. His music has been chosen to appear in commercials and television shows, with his song, Beautiful, accompanying a global ESTEE LAUDER campaign and not just for the weekend, being the theme song for the television series, saving kids – a show that Damien also hosted. Damien is in demand as a TV host for Australian shows with a family feel. As well as hosting the Australian TV series, SAVING KIDS, Damien has hosted NEW IDEA TEST KITCHEN (channel 7 two) and GREAT EASTER FEASTS with Rachael Finch (channel 7, march 2013). He regularly fills in as co-host on channel 7’s THE MORNING SHOW and was a celebrity contestant and finalist on the 2011 series of DANCING WITH THE STARS. His ride to success has been multi-faceted with Damien demonstrating his creative writing skills by publishing two novels with Harper Collins, ONE MORE TIME (2007) and REMEMBER JUNE (2009). Damien continues to tour extensively every year and work with the likes of Nashville legends; Joe Melson (co-writer of Roy Orbison’s Crying and Only the Lonely among many others) and the late Barbara Orbison. Damien has announced a string of tour dates throughout April on his A Tribute to Roy Orbison, plus Strings tour paying homage to his musical hero, Roy Orbison. The year 2020 marked 50 years since the release of Only The Lonely, the classic Roy Orbison and Joe Melson hit song that still graces the airwaves today. Damien, who is arguably one of the finest voices in Australia, will be performing all his favourite classic Roy Orbison hits arranged by celebrated composer Jessica Graham and accompanied by a sublime String Quartet in an unforgettable intimate setting.
This isn’t the first time Damien has created an ode to the legend behind songs such as Pretty Woman and You Got It, to name a few. His national show paying tribute to Roy has sold-out theatres throughout the past decade. Ever the consummate performer, Damien has always had a strong affinity with Roy Orbison’s music. He recorded and worked with the late Barbara Orbison and continues to write with legendary musicians in Nashville who worked with Roy throughout his career.
In fact, when Damien released his album Roy – A Tribute To Roy Orbison it stayed in the ARIA Top 20 chart for 22 weeks and it was nominated for not only an ARIA award but also sold multi-platinum. Damien received the highest praise imaginable upon the release of the album. Barbara Orbison extended her support by saying: “Damien, I applaud you for doing a Roy album. Thank you. We wish you every bit of luck and success. You got it.” Further rave reviews for the album, and Damien’s homage to the late-great Roy Orbison came from his long-time songwriting partner Joe Melson. Joe, who penned Crying, Only The Lonely, Blue Bayou and Running Scared with Roy, said: “Very few voices excite me, but I fell in love with Damien’s voice when I heard it. His unique voice has inspired me to write again, much in the same way Roy Orbison’s voice inspired me to write. I believe Damien is going to be a big star. All the best to you, Damien. Looking forward to good things with you.”
For Damien Leith himself, Roy Orbison is still one of his biggest influences, and it shows in the care he takes when paying homage to the great man’s music on stage. “Roy was a stylus, he created his own unique sound which made him stand out over so many other artists,” says Damien. “His incredible voice, mixed with dramatic pop/opera melodies became his signature. Working with Barbara on my album Roy – A Tribute To Roy Orbison was amazing. It was incredible to have her support and confidence in me, especially in interpreting Roy’s songs and giving them my own stamp. Also, while recording that album I met with Joe Melson – who co-wrote Only The Lonely and Crying – and we have since become good friends and write together almost every week via Skype.
Tickets to Damien Leith’s ROY – A Tribute To Roy Orbison with Strings are on sale now. Friday 9 th April 2021 Riverlinks Eastbank, SHEPPARTON VIC www.riverlinksvenues.com.au Saturday 10th April 2021 Drum Theatre, DANDENONG VIC www.drum.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au Friday 16th April 2021 Woolgoolga Lakeside Holiday Park, WOOLGOOLGA NS
When Damien is not touring and performing, he spends his time in his recording studio where he is a highly sought-after songwriter (published through Embassy Publishing) and producer. Writing for many artists, he recently won 2016 APRA/ASA songwriter of the year and 2017 APRA/AMCOS GOLDEN GUITAR winner for song of the year. Damien has also released an app called 'Damien Leith Storytime' and features bedtime stories for kids; a collection of stories he told his own children. He has also just written and filmed his first screenplay 'Just Ruby' which will be released late 2021 and is currently breakfast radio announcer alongside Jade & Straney for WAVE FM 96.5 in Wollongong.