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Darren Stanley Hayes (born May 8 1972) is an Australian singer-songwriter. Hayes debuted in 1996 as the frontman and singer of the pop duo Savage Garden, whose 1997 album Savage Garden propelled them to stardom. It spawned the singles "I Want You", "To the Moon and Back", and the airplay number-one "Truly Madly Deeply". The duo followed the success of their debut album with Affirmation (1999), which also produced several hits such as "I Knew I Loved You", "The Animal Song" and "Crash and Burn". Savage Garden sold more than 23 million albums worldwide before parting ways in 2001.

Hayes released his first solo album Spin in 2002. The album sold two million copies worldwide, debuted at #2 in the UK album charts and spawned the hit single "Insatiable". Hayes' second solo album The Tension and the Spark marked a big change of direction for the singer-songwriter, showing him experimenting with electronica and darker lyrics. NME wrote about Hayes and the first single from the album, Popular saying it was "A twistered masterclass in career reintervention...This guy is a genius." While the UK Observer said "This album is no folly and succeeds, often to the point of all out triumph, on its own terms." Hayes parted way with his record company in 2006 and started his own independent record label Powdered Sugar, from which he would release his third solo album This Delicate Thing We've Made (2007). Including his work with Savage Garden, Hayes has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.

Early life

Hayes was born on 8 May 1972 in Brisbanemarker, Australia. He is the youngest of three children. He started performing for his mother in his lounge room from an early age. At Mabel Park High School, Hayes appeared in the school musicals Man of Steel (playing Jimmy Olsen) in 1988 and Bye Bye Birdie (playing Albert) in 1989. He also sang at school concerts before graduating in 1989.

Hayes declined an opportunity to attend a performance academy in favour of studying at the University of Queenslandmarker. He ended up deferring a degree to pursue a musical career.

Music career

1993–2001: Savage Garden

In 1993, Hayes answered an advertisement in a magazine placed by Daniel Jones for a lead singer for a band called Red Edge. Hayes was successful despite his voice breaking in the audition. The covers band broke up in 1994 and Hayes formed a partnership with Jones, which was initially going to be called Crush. However, there was another band in the UK which had the rights to the name so the pair called themselves Savage Garden, after a phrase used by Anne Rice to describe the world through the eyes of the main character in her novel The Vampire Lestat. The Savage Garden is a vision of earth in which the natural laws of the world govern over anything aesthetic or civil.

Savage Garden started recording their debut album in 1995 with producer Charles Fisher. Their first single "I Want You" released in 1996 was the best selling single by an Australian artist that year. The second single "To the Moon and Back" topped the Australian charts at the end of 1996. The third single "Truly Madly Deeply" was their second number one and was the best-selling Australian single of 1997. Their debut album, Savage Garden, was the best selling album in Australia during 1997 and the duo won ten ARIA awards.

Hayes moved to New York City to promote Savage Garden internationally while Daniel Jones stayed in Brisbane. The move proved to be successful with "Truly Madly Deeply" going to the top of the American charts in 1998. The Savage Garden album sold seven million copies in the US on the back of this success.

In New York City, Hayes wrote Affirmation. He had recently divorced his wife of several years. Parts of the album reflected the pain from the end of the relationship. Affirmation was released in 1999 and proved to be another hit with lead single "I Knew I Loved You" going to number one in the United States and the album selling six million copies by the end of 2000. The pair played the title track of the album at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Hayes moved to Sausalito, Californiamarker in 2000. He became the public face of the duo doing most of the media. Hayes announced that Savage Garden had broken up in October 2001 during an off the record chat with an Australian journalist. When confronted with this information during the early morning hours, before an unrelated interview, Jones denied the break-up of the band. However, it appears that Jones did not believe the reporter was accurately quoting Hayes and denied what he thought was yet another breakup rumour. Still, the fact that Jones took a back seat in all promotional activities for Affirmation seems indicative that Jones was not content to remain within Savage Garden as it had operated in the past. Savage Garden had sold over 23 million albums by that stage.

The truth of the situation remained in the hands of the two members until an interview in a music publication in 2005 when John Woodruff confirmed that Daniel Jones had announced his intention of leaving Savage Garden prior to the promotion for Affirmation and he criticised the media for their treatment of Darren Hayes. They have never issued a united statement regarding the situation, yet still Darren Hayes has guaranteed that Savage Garden will "never by any chance" reunite.

2002–present: Solo career

2002: Spin

Hayes recorded his first solo album, Spin, which was released in 2002. The album was produced by Walter Afanasieff, the producer of Affirmation. Spin carried on in the same musical vein as Savage Garden, with a less soft rock sound and more edgy R&B vibe, although the first single "Insatiable" was a ballad, reaching Number 3 in Australia. Other singles "Strange Relationship", "Crush (1980 Me)" and "I Miss You" also performed well in charts. The album reached the Top 5 in Australia at Number 3, and in the UK at Number 2. It also reached the top ten in Denmarkmarker, Swedenmarker and Finlandmarker. In the United Statesmarker, the album failed to make the same impact of Savage Garden's previous releases, reaching Number 35 on Billboard. It was later re-issued with a bonus disc consisting of some live and studio tracks.

2003–2004: The Tension and the Spark

Hayes spent two years working on his second solo album, The Tension and the Spark. Other than the track "I Forgive You", which was produced with Madonna collaborator Marius De Vries, the entire album was produced by Darren himself and Robert Conley (with whom he had previously toured and recorded "Crush (1980 Me)" for Spin). The album marked a bold change of direction from Hayes. Conley's production was almost entirely electronic, with acoustic instruments buried under walls of sequenced sounds. Although artistically this was a huge step forward and earned Hayes the strongest praise of his career, it seemed to alienate a large portion of his audience who were expecting another album of radio friendly pop songs. The first single "Pop!ular" was released on 12 July 2004. This single reached Number One on the US Dance Charts, and fared well in the UK. Hayes' follow-up single, "Darkness", charted in the lower regions of the ARIA top 50 charts.

One of his out-takes from the Spin sessions, "When You Say You Love Me", was an Australian top 20 single in April 2004 for Human Nature off their Walk The Tightrope album, and was then re-recorded in 2008 featuring Hayes himself. It was also covered by American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken for his Measure of a Man album.

2005–2006: Truly Madly Completely and parting ways with Columbia

In 2005, Hayes recorded a track he wrote with Robert Conley called "So Beautiful", which is included on the Savage Garden greatest hits compilation Truly Madly Completely: The Best of Savage Garden. The compilation also includes a second track by Darren called "California". Both of these tracks harken back to Hayes' early sound, although still retaining some of the electronic flourishes from The Tension and the Spark.

On 9 July 2006, Darren Hayes announced that he had parted ways with Columbia Records after ten years and 24 million album sales together.

The tour following this release saw Hayes play the iconic Sydney Opera Housemarker, certainly a highlight of his career to date. The performance was recorded and released on a DVD entitled "A Big Night in with Darren Hayes".

2007–2008: This Delicate Thing We've Made

Hayes finished recording his third solo album This Delicate Thing We've Made in 2007. The album is a double-disc, with 25 tracks. A lot of the tracks were co-written with Robert Conley, and a great deal of the album was written with and produced by Justin Shave, who played keyboards for part of Hayes' Time Machine tour. The album was released on 20 August 2007 on Hayes' own independent record label, Powdered Sugar, while the first single "On the Verge of Something Wonderful" was released in Australia on 28 July 2007 and in the UK and online on 6 August 2007.

On 9 April 2007, Hayes released the album track "Who Would Have Thought?" from This Delicate Thing We've Made as a teaser track on his official website, as well as his MySpace profile. This was accompanied by an animation for the song created by his partner, animator and director, Richard Cullen. Around April 2007, remixes of the album track "Step into the Light" were being played in clubs around the world. The album version of "Step into the Light" was released as a teaser on Hayes' official website and MySpace on 30 April 2007.

During the first half of 2007, Hayes performed selected songs from the album in small exclusive gigs around the world. Tickets for several of these much sought after shows sold out in under ten minutes. In June 2007, Hayes embarked on a small tour of USA and Canada, stopping in New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the band Temposhark. The shows were well received with very positive reviews.

On 30 June 2007, Hayes headlined the London Gay Pride at Trafalgar Square. He performed "I Want You" and "On the Verge of Something Wonderful" as well as a medley that included "Pop!ular".

In July 2007, Hayes announced The Time Machine Tour that would start out in the UK, and then move on to Hayes' home country Australia.

On 29 July 2007, "On the Verge of Something Wonderful" was the most selected music video on The Box in the UK.

On 20 August 2007, This Delicate Thing We've Made was released in the UK, America and Australia.

Hayes finished touring this release with 'The Time Machine Tour' in the UK and Australia, where he played venues such as The Royal Albert Hallmarker and the State Theatre in Sydney. His stage was again designed by Willie Williams and included a large bridge that could extend over the first few rows of seats. On the final night at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Hayes' hometown of Brisbanemarker the performance was recorded in HD for a DVD release. The Time Machine Tour DVD came out in two editions; the special edition which was limited to 2000 copies and contained a four panel, fold out, gleaming white box, a 32 page color booklet with 300 photos and notes from the artist, and the regular edition. The special edition DVD, which was only available from Hayes' website, was shipped to purchasers on the 1st of July, and the regular edition which was available in shops was released on July 22.

Hayes did a mini tour in the US in November and December 2007, making appearances at Borders stores and performing two shows in New York City and Philadelphia.

On 18 December 2007, Hayes announced the "The Side Two Tour". The show toured the UK in February 2008 and featured Hayes performing songs from This Delicate Thing We've Made that were not featured on "The Time Machine Tour", in an a more intimate setting.

2009–present: We Are Smug

On 19 April, 2009, Hayes teased via Twitter that he was preparing another album. On the 8th May Hayes announced, via his MySpace page, that he and Robert Conley had produced an album together under the name We Are Smug. The ten track album was made available via a link from his MySpace page, and was made free to download. The album is heavily electronic with some heavy beats. It also contains some explicit content. Both Hayes and Conley share vocal duties on this album. He also said that he is doing a new song for Westlife.

Darren signed to Sony ATV Music Publishing for a worldwide deal in August 2009 for the dual purpose of writing songs for other artists which is a new endeavour and also to support his forthcoming album in 2010. Emma Banks from CAA UK came on board October 2009 to represent Darren for his touring plans in 2010 around the record release.

He has now completed the recording of his new album as of November 2009, and will begin the mixing in the new year.

Personal life

Hayes married a childhood sweetheart, makeup artist Colby Taylor, in 1994. They were still married when Savage Garden "skyrocketed to fame around the globe in the late 1990s." They separated in 1998 and were divorced in 2000. Much of the lyrics for the band’s second album, Affirmation, dealt with his divorce. He recorded Affirmation in San Francisco mid-1999 and eventually bought a house there. He also maintains a base in Londonmarker since 2004.

Hayes started coming out as gay to friends and the head of his label, Sony in the early 2000s. He entered into a civil partnership with his boyfriend of two years, Richard Cullen, on 19 June 2006 in London. Though public speculation about his sexual orientation had been present throughout his career, he is famous for keeping his personal life private. He announced the event the day prior on his official website. Before the announcement Cullen's name had appeared on the website as the designer of the cover for Hayes' single "So Beautiful".

Hayes is a well-known Star Wars buff and has been since childhood. He also collects Star Wars memorabilia and he even auditioned for a role in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.


Studio albums





  1. Savage Garden's official site
  2. Take 40 - Darren Hayes biography
  4. Darren Hayes to headline London Pride,, 30 May 2007.
  5. Darren Hayes tweets a tease,, 19 Apr 2009.
  6. Happy Birthday , MySpace, 8 May 2009.
  7. The Marrying Man: The Aussie Pop Star Came Out On His Own Terms, Letting Fans Know He'd Married His Boyfriend In London This Summer. Tyler Steele, Instinct Magazine, 01 November 2006.
  8. Australian singer weds same-sex partner, ABC News, 18 July 2006. Retrieved 05-04-2007.
  9. [1]
  10. 1 The Advocate
  11. Darren Hayes: Singing Star Wars' Praises,, 12 March 2007. Retrieved 08-11-2007.

External links

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