Belinda Emmett's plan to live the Australian girl's dream of following in Kylie Minogue's footsteps and transforming a career in TV soap to a career as a pop star was cut tragically short when the cancer she had previously undergone surgery for returned and took her life in 2006.
As a teenager, Emmett had been singer for the band Big Baby Jam until she began her acting career in 1994 with a role in the sitcom Hey Dad..! From there she moved to the soap opera Home and Away, which was filmed in the same studio. During this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and radiotherapy to deal with a malignant tumor.
She began writing songs for a future album shortly after meeting her future husband, TV presenter Rove McManus, in 1999. Several of the songs were written about their relationship. Plans for their future were drastically altered when, while filming The Nugget alongside Eric Bana in 2001, Emmett was informed by doctors that the cancer had metastasized and had spread to her bones. She began recording sporadically over the next few years while coping with the illness.
In 2006, aged 32, she died in hospital. Her album So I Am was posthumously released a year later. Although the circumstances of the release were bittersweet, the album itself was entirely uplifting, showing the positivity with which Emmett approached all aspects of her life. It debuted at number ten in the Australian charts. ~ Jody Macgregor
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