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Today's Birthday

AAP logoAAP 10/09/2016

Today's Birthday, September 11: Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee (1978-)

Aria-winning singer-songwriter Ben Lee began his music career in the band Noise Addict before finding success as a solo artist at the age of 16.

Born in Sydney on September 11 1978, Lee grew up in a Jewish household and attended Moriah College in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

While still at school he started the punk band Noise Addict with a group of friends, and together they were signed to the independent label Fallaheen Records off the back of a self-produced and distributed four-track demo recorded in Lee's bedroom.

The release of the band's demo brought about the attention of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Beastie Boys' Mike D, both of whom released the band's material in the US.

Lee's solo career started at the age of 16 when he recorded his first solo album, Grandpa Would, in both Sydney and Chicago in 1995.

After Noise Addict disbanded in 1996, Lee continued to split time (and success) between the US and Australia, working as a solo artist. He released his next album Breathing Tornadoes in 1998, which included the break-out success song Cigarettes Will Kill You.

In 1997, while living in the US, Lee met Hollywood actress Claire Danes and began a six-year relationship with the star before it came to an end in 2003.

Following the split, Lee released the Australian double platinum album Awake Is The New Sleep in 2005.

The album contained the smash hit and Aria-winning single Catch My Disease, which to this day still gets TV and advertising placements, including Grey's Anatomy and Dell Computers.

Lee released his most recent album, Love is the Great Rebellion, in 2015 under his first major label, Warner Bros Records.

He is married to actress Ione Skye and has a daughter named Goldie.

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