The self-taught musician holds a pack of wild cards up his heavily tattooed sleeve. From dating a soapie star to dropping out, we’ve found eight fascinating facts about this year’s Australian contestant at the Eurovision Song Contest, Mr Guy Sebastian. Discover away!
By
Siobhan Hegarty

5 Mar 2015 - 10:27 AM  UPDATED 1 May 2015 - 8:27 PM

1. He loves his mum’s curry (and so does Mel B)

As we recently discovered in 7 reasons why Guy Sebastian was born a Eurovision star, our Aussie Eurovision contender has quite the multicultural make-up. With a Malaysian-Sri Lankan Tamil father and Indian-raised mother, we imagine dinners at the Sebastian’s are something pretty special. Guy’s mum Nellie is best known for her curry, which is said to be so good, former Spice Girl star and Jenny Craig ambassador Mel B broke her diet to eat a bowl of it.

2. It was *cue violins* love at first sight

Long before stardom struck – when Guy wore scraggly jeans and drove an old Datsun – Jules Egan was there. She and Guy met at their local church group and despite the two-year difference (Jules being the senior), started dating when Guy reached university. Fast forward a good 14-or-so years and the teenage sweethearts now share two kids and a tonne of success.

 

3. His mama didn’t like the 'fro

For those of us who fangirled (and boyed) over Guy in the early stages of his career, it’s hard to deny that ‘afro’ and ‘amazing voice’ were two of his greatest drawcards. Branded as “bed hair” by Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson at the Australian Idol auditions, Guy’s cloud ball crown became a talking point for the nation. Some loved it, others, including Guy’s own mother Nellie wanted it cropped.

 

4. …But she did teach him about charity

An ambassador for the Australian Red Cross and World Vision Australia, Guy Sebastian is no stranger to charity. In 2013 the singer set up The Sebastian Foundation with wife Jules as a means to raise funds and awareness for families in need. He says mum Nellie – who cooked and cared for less fortunate friends during Guy’s childhood – passed on the importance of compassion.

5. Guy owes his career (and snappy style) to Jules

Despite the Delta dalliance, Jules has stuck by Guy through thick and thin. We think the stylist and all-round sweetheart deserves a little credit. First, she persuaded him to audition for Australian Idol (good idea), then she gave his shaggy dog appearance an update. With slicked-back hair and brazenly tattooed biceps, Guy now jumps between two looks: preppy and playful suit and tie action, or ripped-shirt rap enthusiast with a bit of bling.

6. He’s a university dropout

Encouraged by his parents to study a profession at university, Guy went into the field of medical radiology. Realising it just wasn’t right, he negotiated a year off to pursue his true love – music. Working odd jobs as a labourer and cleaner, Guy eventually found his niche as a music teacher to school-aged students. With no formal training or music theory background, Guy became an expert via the internet.

7. Guy’s got the Oprah seal of approval

During her mega-hyped, whirlwind tour of Oz, talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey took a liking to our Guy. The R&B singer performed for Ms Winfrey and her band of fervent followers at the official ‘Welcome to Sydney!’ party in the Botanical Gardens. Oprah was so impressed by Guy’s voice, she asked him to play some tunes at a private party. And then they danced. 

8. All about the soul. So much soul. 

Flavoured with dance-driven electro, catchy pop sensibilities and a slick R&B style, Guy’s music has undergone many a metamorphosis over his career. So what’s his true love? Honey-dripping soul. Returning to his roots in 2007, Guy recorded a soul tribute album in Memphis with original Stax musicians, and later fronted the legendary MGs during their Australian tour.