Australian pop sensation Anthony Callea was born in Melbourne on December 13, 1982. Callea entered numerous talent competitions as a child, and while still young, he sought training at the Johnny Young Talent School, a musical theater-style boot camp located in western Australia. In his early twenties he auditioned for Australian Idol, the most successful international franchise of American Idol. Though initially voted off the program, Callea made it back into the lineup thanks to the high praise from the judges, ultimately placing as first runner-up. Not long after, Callea was offered a contract to record with Sony/BMG. His first single, a cover of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion's "The Prayer," debuted at number one on ARIA's singles chart. Within seven weeks, "The Prayer" had become the best-selling single in Australian history. His self-titled 2005 release debuted at number one, and remained at the top of the national charts for weeks. Callea's follow-up release, A New Chapter, primarily featured songs of his own composition, and though it debuted at number nine upon its November 2006 release, the album fell short of sales expectations. In March of 2007, an Australian radio reporter "outed" Callea on a morning talk show, initializing a media frenzy surrounding his sexual identity. In subsequent interviews, Callea openly identified himself as gay and proud, surprising and dividing his enormous fan base. ~ Evan C. GutierrezPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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