How Masked Singer Queen Natalie Imbruglia Beat Violent ‘Robbery’ Accusations… And Why She Can’t Be As Spicy As Kylie

To a new generation of fans, she’s Panda from The Masked Singer, the Australian elf who defeated Charlotte Church’s Mushroom and won ITV’s crazy “guess who” singing contest earlier this year.

But long before she became a star on Saturday night TV, Natalie Imbruglia was a tea party favorite as the cutesy Beth in Neighbours, who has been shining in British living rooms since she was 17.

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Natalie Imbruglia pictured in 1999Credit: Camera Press
Singer Torn as she is now

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Singer Torn as she is now1 credit
As Panda from The Masked Singer, the Australian elf defeated Charlotte Church's Mushroom to win ITV's crazy Guess Who singing contest earlier this year.

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As Panda from The Masked Singer, the Australian elf defeated Charlotte Church’s Mushroom to win ITV’s crazy Guess Who singing contest earlier this year.1 credit

Her path to The Masked Singer began when she decided to become a singer and moved to London in 1994. Everyone compares her to Kylie Minogue, who escaped from Neighbors.

Like Kylie, the fresh-faced Natalie, who played the beautiful Beth Brennan on the show, wanted to take the UK by storm.

But her grungy look for her 1997 debut single Torn couldn’t be more different from that of her compatriot in shorts.

She said: “I would wear shorts if I had Kylie’s butt, but I’m really a little shy in that way.

The ins and outs of the singer Natalie Imbruglia
Winning The Masked Singer gave me confidence,” says Natalie Imbruglia.

“Maybe it’s my father’s fault. When I was younger, he always said: “You don’t wear this, this skirt is too short.”

Soon restless teenage girls were buying cargo pants from Miss Selfridge and cutting their hair like Natalie’s.

soap brand

Hairdresser Kerry Warne even said that her style has overshadowed the current image of Rachel, which was worn by Jennifer Aniston in the sitcom Friends.

He said: “We see at least 15 women a day asking for the same haircut as Natalie. Rachel Aniston is dead.

“The fact that Natalie is gorgeous anyway definitely helps sell the haircut.”

It seemed that her hairstyle gained success more easily than after leaving Neighbors.

At first, she struggled to be taken seriously as a singer, saying, “Working in soaps came with a lot of stigma. I thought I missed every chance to make a serious record because I was in the Neighbors.

“I turned down two record deals because they were very pop. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I didn’t want to be manipulated. Maybe I didn’t have a direction, but I wasn’t stupid.”

So she turned to Kylie, who had UK No. 1 hits in the late eighties with I Should Be So Lucky and Special For You, and signed with her RCA label.

But at first there were no hits, and she said: “I haven’t had any income for a long time.

“My profile went down and so did my bank account and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

“I was forced to fight, which is a normal, healthy part of growing up. I didn’t go through it.”

Before the release of Thorn, her pop career finally kicked off, she began dating Friends actor David Schwimmer, and a viewer who saw them in Beverly Hills said, “He couldn’t take his hands off her.”

But a year later, Natalie was spotted with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and her relationship with David ended, just in time for her to focus on her music career.

Her debut song Torn reached number two in the UK and sold four million copies worldwide. Her 1998 follow-up, Big Mistake, also finished in second place and won two Brits and an NME award.

But Natalie’s bustling social life was perhaps more intriguing than her songs. She was involved with Conservative MP Dr. Liam Fox – she even thanked him in the liner notes for her 1997 debut album Left Of The Middle – but she claimed they were just friends.

A friend of the MP said: “Liam loves it when she visits the House of Commons. It’s very glamorous and brightens up the setting.”

Dr. Fox even suggested Torn as the first single from her album and Natalie said, “It’s his favorite track. It was always the one he wanted to dance to.”

Natalie, now a 47-year-old divorcee, has become a regular star in obscene men’s magazines and has reportedly dated a number of famous men, including Robbie Williams, Finlay Quayet and, uh, Jim Corr of The Corrs.

I would wear shorts if I had Kylie’s butt, but I’m really a little shy about that.

She even spent the night with wild rocker Lenny Kravitz, which he later denied. A friend said at the time, “They had a great time and got along brilliantly. Natalie spent the night with him and they had a lot of fun.”

She also caught the attention of a recently released single by Chris Evans on his Channel 4 show TFI Friday, although the relationship between the two later soured when it was revealed that Torn had previously been released by Norwegian singer Trina Rein a year earlier.

DJ Chris joked, “It shouldn’t be called Torn, it should be called Ripped Off.” Natalie replied, “I never said I wrote it. Elvis Presley never wrote any of his songs.”

In 1999, she met Daniel Jones, the 19-year-old frontman of the Australian band Silverchair, backstage at a concert.

They began an on-and-off relationship on both sides of the world before Natalie joined him in Australia to treat a former anorexic after he lost the ability to walk due to reactive arthritis.

But she claimed that it was Daniel who saved her, and not vice versa.

She said: “Meeting Daniel helped me sort myself out. I was really depressed for a while.

“I’m such a perfectionist with my music and I had a huge album to follow. Now I am very happy in my relationship.” They married in 2003 at an Australian beach wedding and honeymooned in the Maldives.

But her singing career came to a halt after the Thorn scandal over plagiarism and a year-long hiatus.

She later said: “Thorn kind of overshadowed everything around then, at least at first. I think it’s undeniable.

chic parties

“I remember there was a flurry in the papers when Thorne was revealed to be a front.”

Undeterred, she landed a £100,000 deal with L’Oreal before returning to star in Rowan Atkinson’s 2003 film Johnny English. While Natalie’s job kept her in London, Daniel stayed in Sydney, leading to cracks in the relationship.

They divorced in 2008, and although they haven’t spoken in ten years, Natalie said in 2021, “He was the love of my life.”

However, shortly after their divorce, she began attending chic parties and polo matches invited by Sir Richard Branson’s son Sam.

It was revealed that she enjoyed a friendly flirtation with Prince Harry after he broke up with girlfriend Chelsea Davy. He even dressed up as a surgeon for Natalie’s 34th birthday celebration in Kensington, West London in 2009. A source said at the time: “Natalie has met William and Harry before because they have friends in common.

“She invited them to Roof Gardens for her party and was thrilled when Harry showed up. They had a great hitch.

“Natalie found Harry’s outfit funny and they giggled together for ages.”

But Natalie vehemently denied any romance, saying: “Chelsea have nothing to worry about. He was at my party, that’s all. I dated him for about two seconds.”

But her reputation for liking a younger man followed her all the way to James Corden’s star wedding in 2012. Then, 18-year-old Harry Styles was reportedly in love with the then 37-year-old Natalie.

The guest said, “Everyone was talking about it. They got along like a house on fire and were obviously very passionate about each other.

“The next morning, the other guests roasted Harry. He was heard to say to one that he thought Natalie was an amazing woman.”

But again, she categorically denied the affair: “No. It never happened.”

In 2019, Natalie surprised fans when she had baby Max Valentine with a sperm donor and IVF treatment.

She said, “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The feeling of unconditional love is very difficult to put into words, especially if it’s something you’ve been striving for for a very long time.”

She released a new album, Firebird, last year and surprised fans again in early 2022 by winning The Masked Singer.

Now she hopes that her status as a star of the nineties will bring her some fame on the streets. She said: “The nineties were fantastic.

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“It’s great to think that what I experienced and the music that was played at the time, or my music, could have an impact on the younger generation.”

She added, “Does this mean I’m vintage?”

Long before she became a star on Saturday night TV, Natalie Imbruglia was a tea party favorite as the cutesy Beth in Neighbours.

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Long before she became a star on Saturday night TV, Natalie Imbruglia was a tea party favorite as the cutesy Beth in Neighbours.1 credit
Natalie with Neighbors co-star Kylie Minogue in 2000.

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Natalie with Neighbors co-star Kylie Minogue in 2000.1 credit
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“I would wear shorts if I had Kylie’s butt, but I’m really a little shy about that,” says Natalie.
Natalie's ugly look for her 1997 debut single Torn couldn't be more different from that of her compatriot in shorts.

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Natalie’s ugly look for her 1997 debut single Torn couldn’t be more different from that of her compatriot in shorts.Credit: PA: Press Association.
Natalie landed a £100,000 deal with L'Oreal.

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Natalie landed a £100,000 deal with L’Oreal.1 credit
While Natalie's job kept her in London, husband Daniel Jones remained in Sydney, leading to cracks in their relationship - they divorced in 2008.

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While Natalie’s job kept her in London, husband Daniel Jones remained in Sydney, leading to cracks in their relationship – they divorced in 2008.Credit: Rex Features
Beth marries Brad on Neighbours.

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Beth marries Brad on Neighbours.1 credit
Natalie returned to acting in Rowan Atkinson's 2003 film Johnny English.

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Natalie returned to acting in Rowan Atkinson’s 2003 film Johnny English.1 credit

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