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Kate Miller Heidke

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Keir Nuttall

Kate Miller-Heidke

Years active

Kate Miller-Heidke Kate MillerHeidke Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

16 November 1981 (age 42) (

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Adult contemporary, pop, rock, alternative

Singing, keyboards, acoustic guitar

Waterbear Records/Sony BMG, Epic US, RCA UK

Singer-songwriter ·

Curiouser, Little Eve, Nightflight, Live at the Hi‑Fi, Comikaze


Greg Heidke, Jenny Miller

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Kate Miller-Heidke (born 16 November 1981) is an Australian singer-songwriter and actress. Although classically trained, she has followed a career in alternative pop music. She was signed to Sony Australia, Epic in the US and RCA in the UK, but is now an independent artist.


Kate Miller-Heidke Kate MillerHeidke

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Early life

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Miller-Heidke graduated from St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School in 1998, but previously attended Brigidine College, Indooroopilly. She then went on to university, completing a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music on full scholarship, followed by a Master of Music degree at Queensland University of Technology. As a classical singer, she has won many awards including the Elizabeth Muir Prize (2000), the Donald Penman Prize (2001), the Linda Edith Allen Memorial Prize (2002) and the Horace Keats Prize (2002). Her conservatorium performances include Orpheus in the Underworld (2000), Venus and Adonis (2002) and The Pilgrim's Progress (2002). As an Opera Queensland Developing Artist, Miller-Heidke has performed as an understudy in many productions including Sweeney Todd, Don Pasquale and Un ballo in maschera. In July 2005 she made her solo professional operatic debut with Opera Queensland in the role of Flora in Britten's The Turn of the Screw.

2000–2005: Career beginnings, Elsewhere, and solo EPs

Kate Miller-Heidke Kate MillerHeidke calls former Australian Idol winner

Miller-Heidke played in several Brisbane bands before going solo in 2002. Miller-Heidke was lead singer and songwriter with Brisbane band Elsewhere, formed in 2000, which released a self-titled EP of original songs before breaking up in 2003.

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Miller-Heidke performed at the annual cult event Women In Voice in 2002, 2004 and 2005, when she shared the stage with such performers as Pearly Black, Margret RoadKnight, Jenny Morris and Divinyls lead singer Chrissy Amphlett. Miller-Heidke became well known in Brisbane through these performances, and her 2005 appearance in Women in Voice 14 won her the Helpmann Award for Best Performance in an Australian Contemporary Concert.

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In June 2004, Miller-Heidke independently recorded and distributed her first EP, Telegram, a collection of songs, all written by Miller-Heidke herself (except for two songs written by her creative collaborator and now-husband, Keir Nuttall). In 2005, she released a second EP Comikaze, however only 500 copies were ever made. According to an interview in 2007, Miller-Heidke believed the EP's comedic material to have been a mistake and stopped pressing copies.

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In 2006, Miller-Heidke was invited by Deborah Conway to take part in the Broad Festival project, with three other Australian female artists, they performed their own and each other's songs. With Miller-Heidke and Conway were Melinda Schneider, Mia Dyson and Ella Hooper.

Miller-Heidke was to have moved on to singing Gilbert and Sullivan tunes with Opera Australia; instead, she turned her back on classical singing to concentrate on popular music and songwriting when "Space They Cannot Touch", a song from Telegram, became a hit on Australia's national youth radio network, Triple J and was named Richard Kingsmill's "pick of the week" in September 2005. This radio support led to increased national attention for Miller-Heidke's music: not only did she gain thousands of fans, she also went on to sign a record deal, get her first manager, Leanne de Souza, and her first agent, Dorry Kartabani, at the Harbour Agency. Miller-Heidke then began touring the country with her band.

As well as touring throughout Australia and appearing regularly at festivals in Woodford – where she was named Queen of the Woodford Folk Festival in 2002/2003, Port Fairy and in the Blue Mountains, Miller-Heidke appeared on Australian national television as a guest panelist on RocKwiz, Spicks and Specks and Q&A. She has performed on ABC TV's The Sideshow and Q&A, on Network Ten's Rove, Sunrise, The Morning Show and Good News Week, and twice on the live broadcast of the ARIA Music Awards.

2006–2007: Circular Breathing and Little Eve

Signed to Sony Australia, Miller-Heidke released her third EP Circular Breathing in 2006, followed by her debut album Little Eve on 15 June 2007. The album was certified gold in Australia.

2008–2010: Curiouser and mainstream success

Miller-Heidke's second album, Curiouser, was released in Australia on 18 October 2008. The album was recorded in Los Angeles, with Miller-Heidke working with co-producers Nuttall and Mickey Petralia, who has produced albums for Beck and Flight of the Conchords. The songs on the album were mostly written over a two-month period with creative collaborator and partner Nuttall. The album's first single, "Can't Shake It" debuted on the ARIA Singles Chart at number 38 in October 2008, making it Miller-Heidke's first top 40 song. Curiouser was her first top 10 album, debuting at number 8 and peaking at number 2 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums chart.

In April 2009, Miller-Heidke won critical acclaim for her performance as Baby Jane in Jerry Springer: The Opera at the Sydney Opera House. When Tom Morris saw her in that role, he asked her to audition for his production of John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer for the English National Opera (ENO) at the London Coliseum; following two months' rehearsals, Miller-Heidke then sang the role of British Dancing Girl for a two-week run in early 2012. Miller-Heidke performed this role again at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in October 2014.

Miller-Heidke and Nuttall were awarded the $US25,000 grand prize in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition for their composition "Caught in the Crowd". They were the first Australians ever to win the grand prize. The song has now been adopted by the Australian High School curriculum as a part of the early secondary anti-bullying program. The second Australian single from Curiouser which had peaked at number 33 on the ARIA singles charts in June 2009. "Caught in the Crowd" was re-released in November 2009 and has since been accredited as a Gold single.

Her following single, "The Last Day on Earth" reached #3 in Australia, her first top 10 hit. Due to the single's success, Curiouser re-entered the top 50 and reached #1 on iTunes for three weeks. The song became her first song to reach #1 in any chart later peaking on the ARIA Australian Artist Singles Chart at #1. On 19 September 2009, the single "The Last Day On Earth" and the album Curiouser both went platinum.

Curiouser has enjoyed critical success in the US. Sasha Frere-Jones, the music critic from The New Yorker, wrote "I got lucky last week and found a gem in the pile; Curiouser. If your favourite American pop star is coming across slightly washed out, you will want to hear Miller-Heidke. Curiouser is a big clutch of pantone swatches."

Miller-Heidke has toured extensively throughout the US, UK and Europe as the special guest of Ben Folds. Ben Folds is a fan of her, stating "she's one of those people that actually does deserve to be called a unique talent." She released her first music DVD, Live in San Francisco.

Throughout 2010/2011, Miller-Heidke played at many festivals around the world including Coachella, Lilith Fair, Rifflandia, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Southbound and Peats Ridge Festival. She also appeared on Passenger's album 'Flight of the Crow'.

The videoclip for "The Last Day on Earth" was filmed on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

2011–2013: Fatty Gets a Stylist and Nightflight

In June 2011, Miller-Heidke released an album by her side project band Fatty Gets a Stylist, another collaboration with Keir Nuttall. Their first single, "Are You Ready?", has been used in a New York Lottery advertisement on US television and for advertising the Seven Network, in which actors from various shows mime to the words while walking, ending with Alf Stewart from Home and Away yelling the end line "Let's go!".

The album Fatty Gets a Stylist (released as Liberty Bell outside Australia) was written and recorded on a lap top over several months in different locations in between Australia, South East Asia and West London. The album was released on 24 June 2011 and reached #90 on the official Australian ARIA albums charts.

On 13 April 2012 Miller-Heidke's third studio album, Nightflight, was released. No official single was announced, but Miller-Heidke has confirmed on her official Facebook page that two music videos were being filmed: "Ride This Feeling", and "I'll Change Your Mind". Upon release in Australia, the album reached #1 on the iTunes albums chart and #2 on the ARIA album chart.

2013–present: O Vertigo! and acting debut

In 2013, the single "Ride this Feeling" was selected as the promotional theme for the 'Visit Brisbane' television advertising campaign for Brisbane Marketing as part of the Brisbane City Council's Economic Development Board.

Miller-Heidke sang the screen-role of Amber in the world premiere of Michel van der Aa's opera Sunken Garden for the English National Opera in April 2013.

In September 2013, Miller-Heidke announced she had left Sony Records, which she described as a "corporate juggernaut". She also revealed she is currently working on her fourth studio album O Vertigo! independently, and set up a store on PledgeMusic, pledging the money to be used for the album and for donations towards the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Her request then broke a record on Pledge: in three days, it reached the target set for her album and continued to receive more crowd funding.

In 2014, Lyndon Terracini announced that Opera Australia had co-commissioned Miller-Heidke to write an opera based on John Marsden's children's book The Rabbits, to be performed in 2015. The Rabbits was first performed at the Perth Festival in February 2015, to critical acclaim. Miller-Heidke performed as the "female protagonist" in Michel van der Aa's interactive song cycle film The Book of Sand, and debuted as a screen actress in the ABC comedy opera miniseries The Divorce, which was broadcast in its entirety in December 2015.

Miller-Heidke is co-writing the music and lyrics for the musical Muriel's Wedding, to be premiered by the Sydney Theatre Company in November 2017.


On stage and in the studio Miller-Heidke spent the majority of her early years being backed by Brisbane band Transport, consisting of her husband Keir Nuttall (guitar, backing vocals), Scott Saunders (bass) and Steve Pope (drums).

The band included multi-instrumentalist and singer Emma Dean who left the band in 2006 to pursue a solo career. Dean was replaced by Sallie Campbell on keyboard and vocals. Early in 2008, Sallie Campbell left to focus on her own band Speed of Purple, and Nicole Brophy joined on guitar and vocals.

From April to June 2007, with Transport working in the US and UK, Miller-Heidke's touring band was Mark Angel (guitar), Ben McCarthy (bass, backing vocals) and Joachim Alfheim (drums), along with regular vocalist-violinist Sallie Campbell. Both Angel and Alfheim went on to play for Kristy London & The Other Halves. McCarthy stayed on with Miller-Heidke into 2008.

The 2011 line-up was composed of Nuttall, Brophy, Nathan Moore (bass, backing vocals) and Pope. Brophy and Moore both left the band the following year; and were replaced by Madeleine Page and James O'Brien, respectively.

Her 2010 tour of the United States of America featured only Miller-Heidke and Nuttall.

Her 2012 tour of the United States and Canada for the North American release of her third studio album, Nightflight, included only Dan Parsons and Madeleine Paige. Dates in support of Ben Folds included only Nuttall.



  • Little Eve (2007)
  • Curiouser (2008)
  • Fatty Gets a StylistLiberty Bell outside Australia (2011)
  • Nightflight (2012)
  • O Vertigo! (2014)
  • References

    Kate Miller-Heidke Wikipedia

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