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Bernard Fanning

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Best known for his stint fronting the popular Australian rock band Powderfinger, singer/songwriter Bernard Fanning was born August 15, 1969, in Brisbane. He joined Powderfinger at the behest of St. Joseph's College economics classmate Ian Haug, who co-founded the group in 1989. Originally slated as a guitarist, Fanning was soon awarded lead vocalist duties, charting the group's evolution from covers to original material. After a pair of independent EPs, Powderfinger (so named in honor of the classic Rust Never Sleeps track by Neil Young, a seminal influence) signed to Polydor in 1994 and issued their debut LP, Parables for Wooden Ears. With the 1996 follow-up, Double Allergic, the band went double-platinum at home, subsequently notching a series of Australian chart-topping LPs including 1998's Internationalist, 2000's Odyssey Number Five, and 2003's Vulture Street. Also in 2003, Fanning made his feature film debut in Ned Kelly, contributing a solo performance to the movie soundtrack. Despite success in the U.K. and Europe, Powderfinger remained virtual unknowns in the U.S. market, and in 2005 the band went on hiatus. In October of that year, Fanning issued his debut solo effort, Tea & Sympathy, scoring hits with the singles "Wish You Well" and "Songbird."