Australia has produced more than its fair share of talented individuals in athletics and in the arts (many of whom have a strong appreciation for body art). One Australian who seems poised for a major mainstream breakthrough is Jessica Mauboy.
Mauboy, who is an Indigenous Australian (her father is from Indonesia and mother is from the Kaku Yalanji tribe of Far North Queensland, Australia), made her first major breakthrough in 2012’s hit musical comedy/drama “The Sapphires”. In that film, Jessica portrays Julie McCrae, a member of a 1960’s female singing group made up of Indigenous Australians (and bearing the name of the movie’s title), who gain fame from their touring performances, including for the troops in Vietnam. “The Sapphires” won an AACTA Award (Australia’s version of the Oscars) for Best Picture, and Jessica won an individual AACTA for Supporting Actress.
Jessica garnered her first attention, at age 14, during a local music festival. This showcase of her impressive voice lead to her singing with Sony Music Australia. While this initial effort at a singing career didn’t take off, it gave Mauboy a taste of what she wanted. Her next step was to audition for the 2006 edition of the Australian version of “American Idol”, appropriately titled “Australian Idol”.
Despite having to deal with an unfortunate, and tone deaf, comment from judge Kyle Sandilands about her weight, Jessica made “Idol” a largely positive experience for herself. Routinely receiving rave reviews from judges and fans, Jessica made it all the way to the finale (at the world-famous Sydney Opera House) before finishing as the runner-up to Damien Leith. This success led Mauboy to re-signing with Sony Music Australia.
Jessica’s first post-“Idol” album was titled “The Journey”. The name is representative of her “Australian Idol” experience and was a two-disc set that consisted of covers of some of her “Idol” songs and a DVD of her performances. It reached #4 on the Australian Charts. She followed that with her first album of original material, “Been Waiting”. While it didn’t chart as well (only #11 on the Australian charts), it has been her best selling, earning a double platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In addition to her two other albums she has released, she has been very successful touring with two headlining tours, as well as supporting her style inspiration, Beyonce, on another tour.
On the acting side, Jessica made her film debut, staying true to her Indigenous roots, in the Aboriginal musical, “Bran Nue Dae”. Then, of course, there was her breakthrough success with “The Sapphires”. When Jessica is not singing or acting, she is deeply engaged in philanthropic efforts. These include her work with Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia, Woolworth’s Earn & Learn as well as numerous Aboriginal causes. We should be hearing and seeing a lot more of this remarkable young star very soon.
Jessica has a growing love of body art. One of her most notable tattoos appears on the inside of her right ankle. It is a butterfly surrounded by stars. You get to see this pretty ink a lot because Jessica seems to prefer to pose for photos in a way that has this tattoo facing the camera.
Another one of Jessica’s tattoos appears on her upper back, just below the neck. It reads, “J Mallie”. According to Mauboy, it is represents her ‘fierce’ alter-ego, following the lead of her idol, Beyonce.
The only other tattoos I was able to find of her’s are a set of three tattoos that appear on her index, middle and ring fingers of her left hand. The read “Love”, “Peace”, “Unity”. These were inked on Jessica by Mahalo Design (an Australian tattoo studio specializing in cultural South Pacific style of Tatau). They represent the key elements of Jessica’s life philosophy. In keeping with a practice that I strongly encourage, Jessica was photographed while having the art applied.
You can find out more about Jessica at her official website: http://www.jessicamauboy.com.au/
You can follow her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jessicamauboy
You can catch her on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/jessicamauboy1