Lee Kernaghan

Lee Kernaghan Biography

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.

Lee Kernaghan's "Pass The Hat Around Austraila" 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.

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.

The power of the letters affected him deeply and the experience at the Australian War Memorial that day was the catalyst that saw theses 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.

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.


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. 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.

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.

In 2008, he was Australian of the Year, 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. 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.


Kernaghan, whose music has been played at anti-Islam rallies in Australia, has refused to distance himself from the anti-Islam movement, as Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and Mark Seymour have done.



Year Album ARIA Albums
ARIA Country Albums
1985 Family Tradition "? "? -
1986 The Lee Kernaghan Collection "? "? -
1992 The Outback Club 86 12x Platinum
1993 Three Chain Road 35 12x Platinum
1995 1959 9 1Platinum
1998 Hat Town 7 1Platinum
1998 The Christmas Album 31 2 -
2000 Rules of the Road 16 2Gold
2002 Electric Rodeo 5 1Platinum
2004 The Big Ones: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 16 1Platinum
2006 The New Bush 6 1Platinum
2007 Spirit of the Bush 5 1Platinum
2009 Planet Country 13 1Gold
2011 Ultimate Hits 8 1Gold
2012 Beautiful Noise 9 2Gold
2014 Driving Home for Christmas 46 2 -
2015 Spirit of the Anzacs 1 1Platinum

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" "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) "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" "Planet Country"
2010 iTunes Live EP "Planet Country"
"Cunnamulla Fella"
"This Cowboys Hat"
"Australian Boy"
2012 "Beautiful Noise" "Beautiful Noise"
2013 "Lights on the Hill" "Lights on the Hill" (featuring The Wolf Brothers)
"Spirit of the Bush" "Spirit of the Bush" (with Adam Brand and Steve Forde)
2015 "Spirit of the Anzacs" "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
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
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
1998 "Hat Town" 1 Hat Town
"Goondiwindi Moon" 1
"Tough Job" (Colin Buchanan and Lee Kernaghan) 3
"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
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
2015 "Spirit of the Anzacs" (featuring Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington) 20 Spirit of the Anzacs


  • The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular (2002)

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"


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.

|- | 1993 | The Outback Club | rowspan="10"| Best Country Album | |- | 1994 | Three Chain Road | |- | 1995 | Country Crowd | |- | 1996 | 1959 | |- | 2000 | Rules of the Road | |- | 2002 | Electric Rodeo | |- | 2006 | The New Bush | |- | 2010 | Planet Country | |- | 2013 | Beautiful Noise | |- | 2015 | Spirit Of The Anzacs | |-

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.

|- | 1993 | "Boys from the Bush" | Country Song of the Year | |- | 1996 | "1959" | Most Performed Country Work | |- | 1999 | "Hat Town" | Most Performed Country Work | |- | 2004 | "Way It Is" | Most Performed Country Work | |- | 2007 | "New Bush" | Most Performed Country Work | |- | 2008 | "Spirit of the Bush" (featuring Adam Brand and Steve Forde) | Most Performed Country Work | |- | 2011 | "Planet Country" | Country Work of the Year | |- | 2014 | "Flying with the King" | Country Work of the Year | |-

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