Today’s Birthday, May 18: Australian country musician Troy Cassar-Daley (1969 – ).
Country megastar Troy Cassar-Daley wants the nation to know the truth about the past treatment of Indigenous Australians.
“I almost want to get a T-shirt with the massacre sites of Australia and say, ‘It happened, we have to talk about this stuff’. That’s what I feel,” Cassar-Daley told the National Indigenous Times in 2018.
Cassar-Daley was born in 1969 to a Maltese-Australian father and Aboriginal mother.
He moved to Grafton in northern NSW with his mother but also spent time in Sydney with his father.
“A lot of kids struggle with finding out who they are because they are living between two cultures or two different types of parent. That was me,” he told The Australian.
When he was 12 he ventured to Tamworth Country Music Festival to busk on Peel Street, a spot that has launched many country stars.
In 1994 he released his debut single Dream Out Loud and in 1995, his first album Beyond the Dancing, which earned him an ARIA and Golden Guitar.
He has 10 studio albums and last year released a Greatest Hits compilation.
Cassar-Daley has collaborated with numerous notable Australian musicians, including Paul Kelly, Kasey Chambers, Jimmy Barnes and more.
He has four ARIAs, 37 Golden Guitars, two APRAs, nine Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), four CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards plus two NIMAs.
His most recent Golden Guitar was for Heritage Song of the Year for single Shadows On The Hill.
It had been inspired by a camping trip he made with his uncles and cousins when his late cousin Matt Carter was battling terminal cancer.
“Sitting around the campfire, cooking the fish and turtles they caught from the nearby river, the uncles shared the story of a massacre of a local community in the 19th century,” he told the Courier Mail
“One of the uncles asked us if we ever wondered why our grandmother wouldn’t let us across the river up there,” he said.
“That was apparently where this massacre happened up river. Just not a good place, didn’t feel good to her or anyone who went over there.”
In 2017 Cassar-Daley was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown.
He is married to radio and television presenter Laurel Edwards and the couple has two children Clay and Jem.