60 Minutes blog

Ray Martin: Jessica Mauboy

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There’s Jess and there’s Jessica. Two people in one.

JESSICA Mauboy has just finished her sizzling new album with Snoop Dog in L.A., strutting the video in shiny-red stilletos.

JESS Mauboy goes bare-foot, fishing for ‘barra in her Dad’s silver tinnie.

Jessica collects shoes on Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills, and is bedazzling in front of the camera.

Jess strolls into the technicolour sunset, with her long-distance lover, Magoo - a Darwin-born Greek-Australian, who works on the council.

Magoo -who’s real name is Thermali Magripolis - reveals to us that he was in a local nightclub early last year, minding his business, when Jess ‘grabbed me on the ass.’ They’re in love.

What chance did Magoo have?

‘He just stepped into my trap,’ Jess says with an explosion of laughter. ‘Poor Magoo. Poor Magoo.’ She adores him.

We spent parts of three days and nights in West Hollywood with Jessica. Now an established music star, she was simply delightful.

Nothing was too much trouble.

Then, we spent three days in Darwin with Jess and her family of four sisters.

When we asked if she minded getting up at five in the morning to go fishing, for our cameras, Jess said she’d love to.

Again nothing was too much trouble.

The Mauboy girls’ mum, Therese, is an effervescent aboriginal woman. Their dad, Ferdi, is a big-smiling, jockey-sized Indonesian man from West Timor. He works as an electrician, on high-powered cables.

The whole noisy, all-singing, all-laughing family is simply delightful.

And so normal.

Jess/Jessica has grown up, with a well-manicured foot in three cultural camps – indigenous, Timorese and white Australian. She’s comfortable in all of them.

As comfortable as she is strolling down Darwin’s main street, Mitchell Street, eating an ice-cream cone, pointing out the ‘best pie shop in the world’ and taking us out to her old school, Sanderson High. We meet Rolfie her favorite old teacher and mentor to all the Mauboy girls.

Jess reveals that she was occasionally sent from class for humming and singing.

I can imagine it. She never stops singing. (She even sings about prawns and reef fish, while her dad sizzles the barbecue.)

I’ve never met a singing star, like Jessica, who so happily drops into ‘ Stand By Your Man’, Maria Carey or “Get ‘em Girls’ from her new album. From opera to karaoke, she’s away!

Jess happily re-enacts for our cameras, how she used to sing into the family bathroom mirror, using the hair dryer for a microphone – as her sisters banged on the door, demanding she finish.

Jess then sits at the piano -in the family lounge room with mum and dad – and sings Maria again, Whitney Houston and then a bit of The Bee Gees’ ‘Words’, which happens to be Therese’s favorite. (Jessica sang it for mum on Australian Idol, too.)

Then, she jumps into an open-topped Jeep, for “a hoon” through the red-dusty backblocks of Darwin. Jessica slipped just as easily into a shiny-black Audi convertible, for a drive along Sunset Boulevarde.

I first met Jessica Mauboy when I was hosting ‘Carols by Candlelight’ – what I used to call ‘the loveliest night of the year.’

It must have been Christmas 2006, just weeks after she finished runner-up in Australian Idol.

Jessica was still sweet 16, and at rehearsals -in an innocent sort of way - she didn’t quite know all the words to “Mary’s Boy Child”. But, the next night, Show Time, the Carols night - Christmas eve - she had it all word perfect. Even then, she made sure she she got it right.

Her voice flew that night, before ten thousand people in the Sidney Myer Bowl, and over two million in homes across Australia.

Her voice still flies, like an angel’s.

Jessica/Jess has only just turned 21. The girl-next-door, she’s already an Aussie music star and with talent to burn. She’s ready to take on the world.

I really like both young women. They’ve got as lot in common.

User comments
I Love Jessica Mauboy she is so AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This was an excellent insight to Jessica's career. Even with her success she is still bubbly and down to earth. No doubt she will be a true Ausssie where ever she goes. I have been watching her progress since Idol. Her part in BRAN NUE DAE shows off her versibility. Please don't let success change you. Your Family must be very proud of your achievements

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