I have been a massive Anthony Callea fan since his 2004 appearance on Australian Idol. My friend Rickey, who runs the American Idol megasite Rickey.Org, pointed me to a YouTube video of a young man singing the classical/pop song, The Prayer, and have been hooked since. For reasons that will always escape my itty, bitty mind, Anthony finished second, despite having the voice of an angel. To this day, listening to Anthony sing that song as well as a few others can still give me goosebumps.
The eponymous first CD was released in the spring of 2004, and it took me a while to get it, finding the import from Australia can be interesting here in Delaware. But I got it, and loved it. The first single, The Prayer, became the highest selling single in Australian musical history. But before they could pigeonhole Anthony into the Andreas Bocelli, he also had some great pop tunes, like Hurt So Bad, with a sweet Spanish sound, and Rain, a beautiful mid-tempo number.
In 2006, Anthony released A New Chapter, which went more in the pop vein than before. The single Addicted To You is a rocking pop tune, and Live For Love a great power ballad. I loved this CD even more, and was shocked it sold less than the first.
Anthony is currently working on a new CD, but has been keeping busy working as well. He worked in the Australian production of Wicked: The Broadway Musical, and following his starring role of Mark in Rent: The Musical. He has also had countless concerts, including opening for Celine Dion [I will forgive him for this] when she was in Australia.
In his personal life, he came out as rumors of his sexuality spread in the Australian press, but maintained a dignity all along. For the past year and a half, he has been seeing Tim Campbell, an Australian actor/singer, who had starred in a leading primetime soap and had costarred with Anthony in Rent. They have performed together and separately, both remaining gainfully employed while also having a fairly public relationship.
The first CD is available on iTunes, although the second is not but can be purchased on Amazon. I have been tempted to buy the live DVD, but have not been able to find a NTSC copy. I don't know if I will ever get the chance to see him perform live, but would love to [please, Anthony, if you are listening, make it to the states sometime]. That aside, if you like what you hear, buy it and you won't regret it for a moment. For more information about Anthony, you can check his website, or him on Twitter, where he can be most amusing.