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Missy Higgins
, 2004

by Julian Kingma

type C photograph (image: 70.0 cm x 57.3 cm, sheet: 79.0 cm x 60.0 cm)

Melissa 'Missy' Higgins (b. 1982), singer-songwriter, began singing in her early teens, falsifying her age to get into clubs to play with her brother's jazz combo. While she was a student at Geelong Grammar in 2001, the demo track 'All For Believing' won her JJJ's Victoria Unearthed unsigned artists' competition. She was soon offered a contract with local label Eleven. In 2004 Higgins screamed to the top of the Australian charts with hit singles including 'Scar'. The most played song on Australian radio that year, it was voted the APRA song of the year and second-best song on JJJ's 'Hottest 100' poll. Her first full full-length CD The Sound of White (2004) ensured Higgins scooped the pool at the 2005 ARIA awards, winning Best Pop Release, Breakthrough Artist (album), Highest Selling Album, Best Female Artist and Album of the Year. Following the release of On A Clear Night, she won the ARIA for Best Female Artist in 2007.

Julian Kingma began his photographic career in 1988 as a cadet for the Melbourne Age, and went on to work there for 10 years as a features photographer. During this period he won many awards, including the Quill Award for Best Portrait in 1998 and the World Food Awards' Best Photograph in 2001. Since he began working freelance in 2003 Kingma's photographs have appeared mostly in Sydney magazines, featuring regularly in Good Weekend, The (Sydney) Magazine, Black + White, Harper's Bazaar and Rolling Stone.

This photograph, originally published in Harper's Bazaar and Good Weekend, was acquired after it was exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Glossy 2 in 2005-2006.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2006
Accession number: 2006.48