Kylie and Jason are the darlings of Ramsay Street, but Neighbours has quite the history of turning other actors into chart toppers
Fans across the globe were heartbroken when beloved Australian soap Neighbours announced it was coming to an end after nearly 37 years. However, there was one thing that kept optimism alive – that the news might spark a reunion with some of our favourite characters.
Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue are among the stars who are now confirmed to be returning for the final episodes this summer (after all, neighbours should be there for one another…), but they’re not the only popstars who started out on Ramsay Street…
Appearing on the soap from 2002 to 2005 as shy schoolgirl Nina Tucker, Delta Goodrem has gone on to be one of the most successful musicians in the Australian charts. Her debut album, Innocent Eyes, was released in 2003 and climbed to the No.2 spot in the UK charts before becoming one of the best-selling albums in Australian history.
Prior to the likes of Memento and LA Confidential, Guy Pearce made his screen bow as Mike Young, sticking around Ramsay Street for nearly 500 episodes. The list of both TV and film roles he played after that is extensive but Pearce also dabbled with a music career, releasing his first album in 2014. His sophomore release came later in 2018.
Leaving school at 16 to pursue a career as an actress, Natalie Imbruglia found her performance home on Ramsay Street from 1992 to 1994 as Beth Brennan. But it’s her hugely successful music career that Natalie is now know for thanks to hit singles like ‘Torn’ and ‘Shiver’.
Perhaps one of the best-known stars for more recent viewers of the soap, Alan Fletcher has played the lovable Karl Kennedy since 1994 and is one-half of one of the show’s most beloved couple thanks to his longtime relationship with Susan Kennedy. Aside from his work on the soap, Fletcher also has a passion for music; fronting the bands Waiting Room and The X-Rays, taking part in the 2007 reality TV show Soapstar Superstar, and even performing in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
Cast at Felicity Scully in 1999 at the age of just 16, Holly Valance spent three years on Ramsay Street before leaving the soap to pursue a career in music. Her debut album was released in 2002 and most notably included the hit single ‘Kiss Kiss’ which nabbed the No.1 spot on the UK Singles Chart. Valance released a second album in 2003 but later said that she no longer found happiness in making music.
While he only appeared in four episodes of the soap in 1987, Russell Crowe’s short stint on Neighbours is still a notable notch in his filmography. The Oscar-winner is fond of his musical forrays, fronting a number of bands – most notably 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts – and most recently performing on The One Show with his band Garden Party (alongside Samantha Barks, Scott Grimes and Carl Falk) to promote their album The Musical.
Making a splash in the soap world in 2003, Bassingthwaighte garnered acclaim for her portrayal of trouble-maker Izzy Hoyland, winning multiple Logie awards for her work on the show. However, after closing that chapter in 2007, she went on to have a successful music career as both a solo artist and as part of the electro-pop group Rogue Traders.
Dean Geyer had a relatively short stint on Neighbours, playing the role of Ty Harper from 2008 until 2009. However, Geyer was already a familiar face to Australian TV viewers thanks to his successful run on Australian Idol in 2006 which saw him finish in third place. He released his debut solo album a year later. In 2012, Geyer was introduced to a whole new fanbase when he joined the cast of Glee for its fourth season, making the most of his singing and acting skills.
A half-sibling to Jason Donovan and (real-life) neighbours with Alan Fletcher, Stephanie McIntosh had plenty of links to the Australian soap before she made her debut as Sky Mangel in 2003. Leaving the soap in 2007 with 500 episodes and multiple awards under her belt, McIntosh pursued a solo music career and released her debut album Tightrope. As of 2020, McIntosh had returned to Ramsay Street on a recurring basis.
Appearing as Paul Robinson in the very first episode in 1985, Stefan Dennis is where it all started for generations of Neighbours fans. However, the actor also dabbled with a music career, releasing two singles in 1989. Dennis’ first single ‘Don’t It Make You Feel Good’ reached the No.16 spot on the UK charts. If Dennis makes a reappearance for the reunion, expect to see his 80s sort-of-hit back on playlists (maybe a bit behind Kylie…).