The Stylish Christine Anu
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The Stylish Christine Anu

In 1987 the Warumpi Band released ‘My Island Home’, a track written in reference to lead singer George Burarrwanga’s home at Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land. Christine Anu, who was a back-up vocalist for Neil Murray and The Rainmakers, would record a version of the track for her 1995 debut, Stylin’ Up. “I was quite happy as a backing singer but Neil would always say, ‘C’mon, you’re the only chick in the band, we’ve gotta get your face out front. Surely you can sing a couple of songs to give me a break’. I started singing one line of My Island Home, then a verse. Then it ended up becoming the song that I sang,” she says. Anu, who changed some of the lyrics in the song to suit her circumstances, would take home Song of the Year at the 1995 APRAs. Stylin’ Up, meanwhile, took home the prize for Best Indigenous Release at the ARIAs. The album also led to performances around the country, including a gig at Sydney’s Metro that was recorded for a live album and documentary. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the songbird will be revisiting the album through a series of very special shows. Drama Theatre @ GPAC – May 16.

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