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Shannon Noll Opens Up On Country Music's 'Old Boys Club'

24 February 2023 | 11:35 am | Mary Varvaris

Shannon Noll explores Australian Idol, the country music scene, and more.

(Source: Supplied)

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In the very first episode of Idol Talking With Nollsie, Shannon Noll features Ian "Dicko" Dickson as the two talk about their experiences on Australian Idol, the aftermath of Noll's appearance on the show, and the realities of what contestants and judges endured.

Late in the podcast episode, Shannon Noll discusses what he calls the "old boys club" of country music.

Dicko inquires, "I'm keen to ask you about country music in Australia - you've always had that element to you; most of your success has come with pop songs," referring to Lift and Shine. He adds, "do you feel you belong in the country Australian scene? Do you feel accepted?" after Shannon Noll headlined a stage at Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Noll responded, "I don't think so much accepted in the country market, mate," before recalling when he was due to present an award at the Golden Guitar Awards. A journalist approached him, saying, "these are the country music awards. What are you doing here?"

While he can laugh it off now, Noll says that country music in Australia is a bit of an "old boys club". He shared some of the beliefs put on him: if you don't come through the Tamworth country music scene and instead make your way through rock and pop music, it's more difficult to break into the market. However, with a solid fanbase behind him, festivals don't have a problem booking Shannon Noll on their line-ups. Listen to the full episode below.

Noll’s rise to fame as the first runner-up of the initial Australian Idol series in 2003. He met former record company executive and talent scout, Dickson when he was the “nasty” judge on the first two seasons of Australian Idol. Dickson left the show in 2005 to host the reality series My Restaurant Rules, among other things, before returning to Australian Idol for seasons five to seven. 

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Since Australian Idol, Noll has received consistent acclaim with seven top 10 albums, including two multi-platinum #1 ARIA albums, 17 platinum and three gold accreditations. He boasts a reputation as the only Australian male artist in national chart history to have ever achieved ten consecutive top-ten singles. His single What About Me was certified 4× platinum and was the highest-selling single in Australia in 2004.

In 2020, Noll also scored his first #1 on the Australian Country charts when he featured on Find Our Way with the girl-band Southbound xo. He also teamed up with four-piece Melbourne band, Darlinghurst on You Stopped Making Sense in 2021.

In 2022, he competed on the Ten Network’s The Masked Singer Australia as the Blowfly. He released his new single Take Me Away following his elimination from the series in late August.