Lee Kernaghan
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Lee Kernaghan
Lee Kernaghan
Man in black hat sitting on ground
Background information
Lee Raymond Kernaghan
Born (1964-04-15) 15 April 1964 (age 53)
Corryong, Victoria, Australia
Genres Country
Songwriter, composer, musician, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Labels ABC Music
The Blue Devils, Fiona Kernaghan, Ray Kernaghan, Tania Kernaghan
Website https://web.archive.org/web/20080514004036/http://www.leekernaghan.com.au/

Lee Kernaghan OAM (born 15 April 1964) is an Australian country music singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist.

He was the 2008 Australian of the Year, in recognition for his support of rural and regional Australia.[1][2]

Lee Kernaghan's "Pass The Hat Around Australia" tours, "Spirit Of The Bush" drought relief concerts & Farmhand initiative have raised millions of dollars for country Australia.


The son of country music singer and truck driver Ray Kernaghan, Lee Kernaghan was born in the Victorian town of Corryong and raised in southern New South Wales.

In 1986 Kernaghan travelled to the United States with to represent Australia at the Nashville 'Fan Fair' country music festival. In 1993 his debut solo album The Outback Club won an ARIA award for Best Country Album and his hit single Boys From the Bush topped the Australian country music charts.

Kernaghan has dominated the charts with successive hit albums, including Outback Club, Three Chain Road, 1959, Hat Town, Electric Rodeo, The New Bush, Planet Country, Beautiful Noise and Spirit Of The Anzacs. Kernaghan has made a huge impact on country music in Australia, creating a new musical landscape for the genre when he burst onto the scene.

To many people, Lee represents the spirit and values of contemporary rural Australia. His love of the Australian way of life features in his music, and he is a passionate supporter of Australia's rural culture.[3]

During a visit to the Australian War Memorial in 2013 Lee's friend and AWM Director Dr. Brendan Nelson introduced Lee to letters that were written by Australian service men and women during various wars dating back to the landing at Gallipoli during the First World War. These letters were held in the vaults at the AWM.[4]

The power of the letters affected him deeply and the experience at the Australian War Memorial that day was the catalyst that saw these letters put to music in what would become his most recent album, Spirit Of The Anzacs.

Upon release, Spirit Of The Anzacs struck a chord with the Australian people. The album not only went Platinum within 3 weeks but it dominated the ARIA all genre album chart by holding the #1 position for four weeks in a row and the #2 position for another three weeks. Making it the highest selling Australian album for 2015.[5]

2015 also saw the release of Kernaghan's first book - The Boy From The Bush, These Are My Songs, These Are My Stories.

Kernaghan closed out 2015 with a massive national tour called The Songs And The Stories In Concert. Fittingly, the tour covered elements of the book and also features the songs from Spirit Of The Anzacs.

He is the father of two sons[6] and is an avid Magic: the Gathering player.


He has won four ARIA Awards and three APRA Awards, and been nominated in award categories numerous times.

As of 2015, Kernaghan has had 33 #1 hits on the Australian Country Charts, and sold over two million albums.

Lee was named "Hit Maker of the Decade" twice, in 2001 and 2011.[5] This title goes to the country artist from anywhere in the world who achieves the most amount of hits in the Australian market over the decade.

He has sold over two million albums, and won 36 Golden Guitars at the Country Music Awards of Australia (more than any other artist except the legendary Slim Dusty).

Kernaghan was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2015 ARIA Awards, for Spirit Of The Anzacs.[5]

His album Spirit Of The Anzacs was the highest selling Australian Album of 2015 (all genres)


Kernaghan received the Order of Australia Medal in 2004.[7]

In 2008, he was Australian of the Year,[8] in recognition for his support of rural and regional Australia; his 'Pass the Hat Around' tours have raised more than a million dollars for rural communities during a challenging period of drought.[9] He was presented with the award by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

He was inducted into the Roll of Renown during the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival and has won numerous awards at the Country Music Awards of Australia.[10]


During July 2015 Kernaghan's music was played at anti-Islam rallies in Australia, without his permission.[11][12] He responded that the use of his work should be "consistent with - and respectful of, the memory of ... [soldiers who] laid down their lives for the freedoms we have today."[12] Fellow local artists, Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and Mark Seymour, objected to the use of their material at those rallies.



Year Album ARIA Albums
ARIA Country Albums
1985 Family Tradition[14] -- -- -
1986 The Lee Kernaghan Collection[15] -- -- -
1992 The Outback Club 86 1 2× Platinum[16]
1993 Three Chain Road 35 1 2× Platinum[17]
1995 1959 9 1 Platinum[18]
1998 Hat Town 7 1 Platinum[19]
1998 The Christmas Album 31 2 -
2000 Rules of the Road 16 2 Gold[20]
2002 Electric Rodeo 5 1 Platinum[21]
2004 The Big Ones: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 16 1 Platinum[22]
2006 The New Bush 6 1 Platinum[23]
2007 Spirit of the Bush 5 1 Platinum[24]
2009 Planet Country 13 1 Gold[25]
2011 Ultimate Hits 8 1 Gold[26]
2012 Beautiful Noise 9 2 Gold[27]
2014 Driving Home for Christmas 46 2 -
2015 Spirit of the Anzacs 1 1 Platinum[28]
2017 The 25th Anniversary Album 2 1

Singles and EPs

Retail releases

Year Name Track/s
1983 - "Cheaters"
"Advance Australia Again"
1986 - "Back to Strangers"
"We're Gonna Be Lovers"
1993 "Boys from the Bush" "Boys from the Bush"
"Searchin' for Another You"
"She's My Ute" "She's My Ute"
"Leave Him in the Longyard"
1994 "Save the Land"[30] "Save the Land" (with Trisha Yearwood)
"Burning Heart"
1995 "Country Crowd" "Country Crowd"
"The Rope That Pulls the Wind"
1997 "This Is the Outback" "This Is the Outback"
"Twango" (Instrumental)
"Brown Water" (Instrumental)
1998 "Tough Job" "Tough Job" (Colin Buchanan and Lee Kernaghan)
"The House on Fishy Lake Road" (Colin Buchanan)
2004 "Missin' Slim" "Missin' Slim" (with COLIN BUCHANAN)
"Where Country Is"
"Still Here to Give It My Best" (Colin Buchanan)
"Losin' My Blues Tonight" (with Anne Kirkpatrick)
2007 "Love Shack" (The Summer Remixes)[31] "Love Shack" (Urban Mix Radio Edit)
"Love Shack" (Groove Mix Radio Edit)
"Love Shack" (Groove Mix Extended Play)
"Love Shack" (Euro Mix)
"Love Shack" (Album Mix)
Spirit of the Bush (EP) "Spirit of the Bush" (with Adam Brand and Steve Forde)
"Leave Him in the Longyard" (with Slim Dusty)
"Life Will Bring You Home" (Adam Brand)
"Aussie Philosophy" (Steve Forde)
Down to Earth (documentary)
"Spirit of the Bush" (music video)
2009 "Planet Country"[31] "Planet Country"
2010 iTunes Live EP[31][32] "Planet Country"
"Cunnamulla Fella"
"This Cowboys Hat"
"Australian Boy"
2012 "Beautiful Noise"[31] "Beautiful Noise"
2013 "Lights on the Hill"[31] "Lights on the Hill" (featuring The Wolf Brothers)
"Spirit of the Bush"[31][33] "Spirit of the Bush" (with Adam Brand and Steve Forde)
2015 "Spirit of the Anzacs"[31][34] "Spirit of the Anzacs" (featuring Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington)


Year Single Chart positions Album
Country Tracks Chart[35]
1992 "Boys from the Bush" 1 The Outback Club
"High Country" 1
1993 "She Waits by the Sliprails" 1
"She's My Ute" 1 Three Chain Road
1994 "Three Chain Road" 1
"Leave Him in the Longyard" (with Slim Dusty) 2
"Southern Son" 1
"Save the Land" (with Trisha Yearwood) 1 N/A
1995 "Country Crowd" 1 1959
"1959" 1
1996 "Skinny Dippin'" 1
"Scrub Bashin'" 8
"A Bushman Can't Survive" (with Tania Kernaghan) 1 1959: Limited Edition Double CD
"Working for the Man" (with Troy Cassar-Daley) 8
1997 "This Is the Outback" 1 N/A
1998 "Hat Town" 1 Hat Town
"Goondiwindi Moon" 1
"Tough Job" (Colin Buchanan and Lee Kernaghan) 3 N/A
"Getting Gone" 1 Hat Town
1999 "When the Snow Falls on the Alice" 1
"Bare Essentials" --
2000 "Darwin Jailhouse Window" (with Tex Morton) 3 Rules of the Road
"Cunnamulla Fella" 1
"That's the Kind of Life I Live" 3
2001 "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (Josh Arnold and Lee Kernaghan) 1 Galvanize
2002 "Something in the Water" 1 Electric Rodeo
"The Way It Is" 1
2003 "I'm From the Country" (with Travis Sinclair) 1 Electric Rodeo: Deluxe Double CD Limited Edition
"An Ordinary Bloke" 6 Electric Rodeo
"Baptise the Ute" 6
2004 "Love Hurts" (with Catherine Britt) 3 Electric Rodeo: Deluxe Double CD Limited Edition
"Missin' Slim" (with Colin Buchanan) 1 N/A
2005 "Down Under" -- Big Ones: Greatest Hits
2006 "The New Bush" 1 The New Bush
"Listen to the Radio" 1
"Love Shack" 1
2007 "Spirit of the Bush" (with Adam Brand and Steve Forde) 1 Spirit of the Bush
"Sassafras Gap" 1
2009 "Planet Country" 1 Planet Country
2010 "Australian Boy" 2
"Love in the Time of Drought" 1
2011 "Dirt" 1
"Channel Country Ground" (Dean Perrett and Lee Kernaghan) 16 Cattle Town
"Scars" (with Dierks Bentley) 1 Planet Country
"Fire" (with Robyn McKelvie) 3 Planet Country: 2CD Deluxe Edition
2012 "Song of Australia" (Colin Buchanan, Lee Kernaghan and Sara Storer) 12 The Songwriter Sessions
"Beautiful Noise" 5 Beautiful Noise
2013 "Ute Me" 12
"Flying with the King" 1
"It's Only Country" 1
"Lights on the Hill" (with The Wolfe Brothers) -- Beautiful Noise: Deluxe Tour Edition
2014 "Dirt Music" 2 Beautiful Noise
"Driving Home for Christmas" 4 Driving Home for Christmas
"Turn This to Gold" (Keely Johnson with Lee Kernaghan) 17 N/A
2015 "Spirit of the Anzacs" (featuring Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington)[36][37] 20 Spirit of the Anzacs


Music videos

Year Video Director
1992 "High Country"
"Boys From the Bush"
2011 "Scars" (with Dierks Bentley) Robb Cox
2012 "Beautiful Noise"
2015 "Spirit of the Anzacs"[38]


ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. Kernaghan has won two awards from 9 nominations.[39]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1993 The Outback Club Best Country Album Won
1994 Three Chain Road Won
1995 Country Crowd Nominated
1996 1959 Nominated
2000 Rules of the Road Nominated
2002 Electric Rodeo Nominated
2006 The New Bush Nominated
2010 Planet Country Nominated
2013 Beautiful Noise Nominated
2015 Spirit Of The Anzacs Nominated

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are held in Australia and New Zealand by the Australasian Performing Right Association to recognise songwriting skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually. Kernaghan has won four awards from eight nominations.[40]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1993 "Boys from the Bush" Country Song of the Year Won
1996 "1959" Most Performed Country Work Won
1999 "Hat Town" Most Performed Country Work Won
2004 "Way It Is" Most Performed Country Work Nominated
2007 "New Bush" Most Performed Country Work Nominated
2008 "Spirit of the Bush" (featuring Adam Brand and Steve Forde) Most Performed Country Work Nominated
2011 "Planet Country" Country Work of the Year Nominated
2014 "Flying with the King" Country Work of the Year[41] Won

Business Ventures

For several years, Kernaghan owned the historic Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton, Queensland, after buying the pub in 2003 when it was placed into receivership after a downturn in trade and public liability concerns.[42][43] Kernaghan has described the time during which he owned the Great Western Hotel as one of the greatest periods of his life.[44]


  1. ^ "Kernaghan. Lee". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2009. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Wendy (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5. 
  3. ^ "Lee Kernaghan | Official Website| Tamworth Country Music Festival". www.tcmf.com.au. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ "Lee Kernaghan - "Outstanding Achievement Award" for Spirit of the Anzacs | Australian War Memorial". www.awm.gov.au. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ a b c "ARIAs: Lee Kernaghan wins achievement award". www.skynews.com.au. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/hot-in-pink-robby-x-hits-top-30-as-she-reveals-the-love-twist-on-how-she-met-her-hubby-lee-kernaghan/story-fni0cvc9-1227128976641.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "KERNAGHAN, Lee Raymond OAM". It's an Honour. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 2009. 
  8. ^ "Lee Kernaghan named Australian of the Year". The Australian. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  9. ^ "Australian of the Year Awards". www.australianoftheyear.org.au. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/01/18/4163995.htm
  11. ^ (staff writer) (24 July 2015). "Lee Kernaghan Sits on Fence Over Reclaim Australia Use of Song". themusic.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Vincent, Peter (24 July 2015). "As Midnight Oil Demands Reclaim Australia Stop Playing Songs, Lee Kernaghan Refuses". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ "australian-charts.com - Discography Lee Kernaghan". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017. 
  14. ^ Joint release by Ray and Lee Kernaghan
  15. ^ Released on cassette only
  16. ^ "The Outback Club by Lee Kernaghan". www.leekernaghan.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 1998". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ "1959: Lee Kernaghan". www.leekernaghan.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  19. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 1999". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  20. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2000". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  21. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2003". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2007". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. [permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2007". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. [permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2009". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2009". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2013". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  27. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2013". www.aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016. 
  28. ^ "ARIA album accreditations 2015". www.aria.com.au. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 2016. 
  29. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 40 Country Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  30. ^ Proceeds of record royalties from sales were donated to Operation Farmhand
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Digital download only
  32. ^ Recorded live at the Castle Hill Apple Store
  33. ^ Re-released to support the NSW Bushfire Appeal
  34. ^ All proceeds go to Legacy and Soldier On charities
  35. ^ http://www.countrytrackschart.com.au/
  36. ^ McCabe, Kathy (23 January 2015). "Lee Kernaghan enlists Sheppard, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian for Spirit of the Anzacs single". News.com.au. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2015. 
  37. ^ "iTunes - Music - Spirit of the Anzacs (feat. Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll & Megan Washington) - Single". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple. Retrieved 2015. 
  38. ^ Lee Kernaghan - Spirit of the Anzacs (Official Music Video). YouTube. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  39. ^ "ARIA Awards Search Results - Lee Kernaghan". ARIA Awards. www.ariaawards.com.au. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  40. ^ "Nine first-time winners in 12 APRA Music Award categories". APRA Awards. Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 6 March 2015. [permanent dead link]
  41. ^ "Country Work of the Year". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  42. ^ Kernaghan buys Great Western pub, Chris Lawson, Queensland Country Hour, ABC Rural, 9 April 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  43. ^ Boy from the bush buys QLD pub, National Rural News, ABC Rural, 9 April 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  44. ^ Country music legend Lee Kernaghan returns to 'second home', Michelle Gately, The Morning Bulletin, 7 May 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2017.

External links

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