The Savage Garden frontman has had a huge music career, selling over 20 million albums with his band, while also embarking on a successful solo career when they split.
After a musical hiatus, in 2022 Darren was back releasing and performing music, headlining Sydney's 2022 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and touring new music, releasing his fifth studio album Homosexual in October.
While his professional life was thriving, the singer was going through personal turmoil with his 17-year marriage with husband Richard Cullen coming to an end. Darren confirmed the split in May 2023, saying the two were still 'best friends'.
While fans guessed Darren's voice early on in the Masked Singer series, some doubt remained after Darren was quite vocal about the fact he'd never do the show, tweeting last year that it wasn't 'his thing'.
'Dealing with grief'
Now Darren has told Yahoo Lifestyle what changed his mind when it came to doing the show.
"I had just had a bit of a rough year. The whole world knows I was going through a divorce, and I have a very tender heart. I knew [about the divorce] when I put my album out, so it was a couple of years of just really putting my feelings out there, a lot of that record was dealing with that subject," Darren shared.
"[I was] reclaiming myself and coming back from a self-imposed sort of exile and trying to love myself again. I went straight onto a world tour, I toured Australia, a huge UK run, and then the US.
"And at the end of it, I was faced with either just sitting in my feelings and dealing with the grief. Or I could go and do this fun TV show. And so I went, 'fun TV show!'"
'I thought I'd be voted off'
Darren also said he was surprised he made it to the finale, despite his longstanding music career.
"I think I have a love or hate voice. people either love it or hate it. I thought 'I'm going to be guessed immediately' which is what happened, but I thought I would just be voted off," he laughed.
Thanks to everyone at @maskedsinger_au for the most extraordinary adventure. It was emotional, challenging & humbling. So grateful for the love and the opportunity. This is a private video from a live soundcheck before the audience came in. pic.twitter.com/ZWC7EYRZl1
— Darren Hayes (@darrenhayes) November 7, 2023
Darren said he thought the network would get rid of him early on because of the 'generous' pay that comes with being on the show.
"I'm really bad at business. I thought that the network would just be like... I mean, it was a generous paycheque. I thought, 'You're not going to pay me this every week!'. This is how stupid I am at business," he said.
"So I thought, sure, I'll do this. And I signed the contract. But I thought they were not going to keep me on the show. Like, they'll vote me off. And I didn't want to be on the show the whole time because I just needed to come home, see my mum, do whatever. And I kept getting through. And then I fell in love with the show."
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