|Birth name||Damien Leo Leith|
|Born||18 January 1976|
|Origin||County Kildare, Ireland|
|Genres||Acoustic, folk, alternative rock, pop|
|Occupations||Singer–songwriter, novelist, television presenter, chemist|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, vocals|
Sony BMG Ireland
He was born in Ireland and now lives in Australia with his Australian wife, Eileen Stapleton, and their two sons, Jarvis Dion and Jagger Ramone.[1 ] Leith became an Australian citizen on 25 January 2007 taking the pledge from the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, in a nationally televised broadcast on Network Ten.
Although Damien was born in Dublin, he was raised near the small village of Milltown in County Kildare, Ireland. His father travelled as part of his work as an engineer, and their family lived in countries including Libya and Botswana.
As a teenager he formed a family band, "Leaf", with his sister Áine and brothers Paul and Darren. Leaf recorded in New York and then again later under the new name "Releaf", which made an appearance in the Irish Top 100.
Before auditioning for Australian Idol, Leith worked in Sydney as a chemist with Pharmalab utilising the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry he obtained from University College, Dublin and postgraduate experience within the Metallosupramolecular Research Group in the Chemistry Department of Trinity College, Dublin.
Leith was selected by the judges as one of the final 24 contestants, and was the first person voted into the competition's top 12 as the result of a nationwide viewer vote. He was praised by the show's judges for his falsetto technique, which he used regularly in performances.
For the first time, Australian Idol 2006 permitted contestants to perform with instruments, and Leith accompanied himself on guitar for his renditions of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game", Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Alex Lloyd's "Never Meant to Fail" and Ben Harper's "Waiting On an Angel", and on piano for his rendition of Split Enz's "Message to My Girl". Leith also played piano for the non-competition round "Up Close and Personal" night, when he performed his original song "Sky".
Despite adverse comments from judges Mark Holden and Kyle Sandilands in relation to Leith's appearance and a performance of Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" on the "Disco" theme night, which drew ridicule from Holden, the judges' assessments of Leith's performances were usually positive with Holden labelling him a 'darkhorse' early in the competition. His renditions of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game", Roy Orbison's "Crying", Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" each earned Leith a "Touchdown" from Mark Holden, a gesture which has come to be regarded as Holden's ultimate accolade for an excellent performance. Leith holds the record (with Australian Idol 2004 winner Casey Donovan) for being given the most amount of touchdowns, at four apiece. Sandilands also stated that the family of Roy Orbison had contacted the Australian Idol producers requesting a copy of Leith's performance of "Crying". Although he was one of the most popular interviewees on Idol's behind-the-scenes show Idol Backstage, he was not expected by betting agency Centrebet to win the competition with Dean Geyer punted as the favourite to win throughout.
Leith was the only contestant in the 2006 season not to be in the bottom 3.
At age 30, at the time Leith became the second oldest winner of any Idol series in the World.
Controversy among viewers was created as Leith was not officially an Australian Citizen at the time of winning the Australian Idol, especially since the previous years runner-up Emily Williams was New Zealand born and a temprary resident of Australia and that is suspected to be why many fans of the series did not want her to win despite her strong vocals and outstanding performances.
|Week||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Result|
|Audition||-||"The Blower's Daughter"||Damien Rice||Advanced|
|Theatre Week||First Solo||Advanced|
|Theatre Week||Group Performance||Advanced|
|Theatre Week||Second Solo||"Hallelujah"||Leonard Cohen||Advanced|
|Top 24||none||"You Are So Beautiful"||Joe Cocker||Advanced|
|Top 12||Contestant's Choice||"With or Without You"||U2||Safe|
|Top 10||Number Ones||"If Tomorrow Never Comes"||Garth Brooks||Safe|
|Top 9||The Year They Were Born||"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"||Elton John||Safe|
|Top 8||Disco||"Celebration"||Kool & the Gang||Safe|
|Top 7||Acoustic||"Wicked Game"||Chris Isaak||Safe|
|SPECIAL||Up Close & Personal||"Sky"||own composition||Safe|
|Top 6||Rock Swings||"High and Dry"||Radiohead & Jamie Cullum||Safe|
|Top 5||ARIA Hall of Fame||"Message to My Girl"||Split Enz||Safe|
|Top 4||Viewer's Choice||"Crying"
|Top 3||Judges' Choice
The Righteous Brothers
|Top 2||Contestant's Choice
|"Never Meant to Fail"
"Waiting on an Angel"
"Night of My Life"
Leith signed a recording contract with Sony BMG and his debut single, "Night of My Life", was released as a paid digital download from Bigpond Music soon after the conclusion of the grand finale, with an official CD release on 28 November, which included an original composition written and produced by Leith titled "Come to Me".
The single was certified "Gold" (35,000 copies sold) within 72 hours of its release. On 3 December 2006, the single debuted at #1 and continued to stay in that position for 4 weeks, having Platinum accreditation (70,000 copies shipped) awarded in the first week of release.
It was the fastest-selling debut single released during 2006, and also the most added song to radio.
The video of "Night of My Life" debuted on national television on Saturday 9 December 2006. Set in the urban streets of Chippendale, New South Wales, the video was produced by Cutting Edge Productions.
Although with an official release date of 9 December, on 6 December 2006, Leith's CD/DVD pack entitled The Winner's Journey with all his Idol performances and two original tracks began appearing in non-ARIA accredited stores. The release debuted at #3 with Platinum accreditation (70,000 copies shipped) on the ARIA Album Charts released on Sunday, 10 December 2006, and rose to #1 on the following week, with 89,000 units sold and certified platinum four times (280,000 copies shipped). It sold a 2006 record of 101,206 units in the pre-Christmas week and continued to stay in the same position of #1 for the next four weeks.
In late December 2006, Leith signed with Sony BMG Ireland and on 18 January 2007 "Night of My Life" entered the Top 10 singles chart in Ireland. The next week it rose up two spots to the position of #8.
Leith performed in a nationally televised concert, Australia Day Live, on the eve of Australia Day 2007, in the nation's capital, Canberra. Leith performed two songs, Peter Allen's "Tenterfield Saddler" with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and "Night of My Life".
In late February 2007, Leith embarked on a two week, 14 show tour of major Australian East Coast cities. Labelled The Winner's Journey Tour, the concerts featured many of the songs performed by Leith during Australian Idol, as well as showcasing new original songs destined for his forthcoming studio album, including the folk/acoustic piece "Song for Jarvis", dedicated to his son, and "Beautiful", a band piece written by Leith during his trip to Ireland after winning Australian Idol.
On 22 February 2007, Leith was presented with two ARIA No. 1 Chart Awards for his first single "Night of My Life" and first album The Winner's Journey. These awards are presented to Australian artists whose singles and albums reach no. 1 on the ARIA national single and album charts over the thirteen months from December 2005 to December 2006.
In March 2007, Leith again performed "Night of My Life" and was nominated for "Spankin' New Artist" and "Best Male Artist" awards at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007. On 29 April, 2007 the winners were announced, unfortunately Damien was unsuccessful.
On 30 May 2007, Damien and his wife welcomed their second son, Jagger Ramone Leith, into the world.
On 9 July 2007, Leith was nominated for a 2007 Helpmann Award in the category of Best Performance in an Australian Contemporary Concert (other nominees are David Campbell, Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John). The annual Helpmann Awards recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the many disciplines of Australia's vibrant live performance sectors, including musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, dance and physical theatre. The Helpmann Awards, named in honour of Sir Robert Helpmann and to commemorate his memory and achievements, are similar to the Tony Awards on Broadway and the Olivier Awards in London. The winners were announced at a ceremony on Monday 6 August, unfortunately Damien was unsuccessful.
In early November 2007, Leith performed "22 Steps" on the TV soap opera "Neighbours".
Leith's second single "22 Steps" was released to Australian radio on 22 June 2007 and then was in stores on 21 July, which debut and peaked at #11 on the ARIA Singles Chart. The studio album Where We Land followed and was released on 18 August 2007. It debuted at number one on 27 August in the ARIA Albums Chart. This is his second number one album within seven months. Damien is also the first Australian Idol winner to score two consecutive #1 albums.  Leith had an appearance on Rove on 26 August 2007 and he performed live during the semi-finals of Australian Idol 2007 on 30 August. The second single from the album is "All I Want Is You", which he performed on the October 8th verdict show on Australian Idol 2007.
Leith embarked on a national Where We Land tour around Australia, performing his own material from the album, which began in November.[12 ] The original schedule of the tour only included venues located along the east coast, but it was announced on 28 September that the tour will be extended to include Adelaide and Perth.
During February 2007, Leith signed a book deal with Australian publishers, Harper Collins. His first novel, written three years before entering Australian Idol, has been described by Leith as a psychological thriller set in Nepal. The novel is titled One More Time and it was released on 1 October 2007.
In October 2007, Leith was nominated for 3 Australian ARIA Music Awards including; "Best Breakthrough Single" and "Highest Selling Single" for Night of My Life, which he was unsuccessful in. He was also nominated for "Highest Selling Album" for The Winner's Journey, which he won.
In February 2008, Damien started to host Network Ten's heart-warming television series "Saving Kids". A show filmed at Sydney Children's Hospital which allows viewers to see medical miracles unfolding in the stories of children being treated for serious illnesses and horrific injuries. His song "Not Just For The Weekend" off his debut studio album serves as the theme song and was released as a promotional single to promote the show.
On 26 April 2008, less than a year after the release of his first studio album, Where We Land, Leith released his second album, Catch the Wind: Songs of a Generation. The album contained his own interpretations of classic folk songs and he performed several of the album's tracks during two small gigs at the Vanguard in Newtown, New South Wales on 14 March and 15.
The album debut in the ARIA Album Charts at #3 on the 4th of May and rose to its peak at #2 the next week held off the top spot by André Rieu and Mirusia's Waltzing Matilda. It was certified Gold in its 3rd week. Leith performed a series of live shows across Australia for his 'Catch The Wind' tour which began in May and is to finish late July. The tour was up-close and personal set in small venues with only 2 other band members. 
Leith's third studio album, Remember June, was released in Australia on October 9. It debuted at #25 and has so far spent two weeks in the ARIA combined sales Top 50 Albums Chart, and 3 weeks in the ARIA Top 20 Australian Albums Chart, though the album is currently not in either chart. The first single from the album, entitled "To Get To You" went to radio on September 14, and was released September 25. It has yet to appear on the Aria singles chart.
He has also just finished writing his second novel which he says will have a father and son relationship plot, and will be released by HarperCollins in early 2010. His first novel, "One More Time" was published in 2007.
The following is a complete discography of every album and single released by Australian acoustic/pop music artist Damien Leith.
|Year||Statistics||Chart positions ||Certifications|
||1||—||4x Platinum (ARIA)|
|2007||Where We Land
|2008||Catch the Wind: Songs of a Generation
|2006||"Night of My Life"||1||8||Platinum (ARIA)||The Winner's Journey|
|2007||"22 Steps"||11||—||Where We Land|
|"All I Want Is You"[A]||—||—|
|2008||"Not Just for the Weekend"[A]||—||—|
|2009||"To Get To You"||—||—||Remember June|
|2008||Australian Recording Industry Association||ARIA No. 1 Chart Award - Album (Where We Land)||Won|
|2008||Australian Recording Industry Association||ARIA No. 1 Chart Award - Album (The Winner's Journey)||Won|
|2007||ARIA Award||Highest Selling Single (Night Of My Life)||Nominated|
|2007||ARIA Award||Highest Selling Album (The Winner's Journey)||Won|
|2007||ARIA Award||Breakthrough Artist Single (Night Of My Life)||Nominated|
|2007||Australian Recording Industry Association||ARIA No. 1 Chart Award - Single (Night Of My Life)||Won|
|2007||Australian Recording Industry Association||ARIA No. 1 Chart Award - Album (The Winner's Journey)||Won|
|2007||MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007||Spankin' New Artist||Nominated|
|2007||MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007||Best Male Artist||Nominated|
|2007||Helpmann Awards 2007||Best Performance in an Australian Contemporary Concert||Nominated|
|2007||Helpmann Awards 2007||The Harbour Agency, Best Australian Contemporary Concert||Nominated|
Season 4 (2006)