The Voice 2021: Everything to know about the famous judges

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The 2021 season of The Voice Australia is launching soon and fans are excited to learn more about who will be making the decisions on the swivelling chairs this year. 

Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian will choose whether or not a singer will be going through to the battle rounds this year.

Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian
The Voice Australia 2021 coaches Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian. Photo: Channel Seven

Now in its 10th year, The Voice will be a welcome relief for pandemic boredom as fans watch each week to see who will surprise the judges and be picked on the strength of their voice alone to battle it out to be crowned the winner.

Only one coach from last year is back, viewers favourite Guy Sebastian, but he will be joined by musical superstars Rita Ora, Keith Urban and Jessica Mauboy. 

So just who are these award-winning heavyweights who will have the fates of the contestants in their hands and will hopefully coach them through to the finals and maybe even a future as a singing star themselves?

Guy Sebastian

Shooting to fame in a singing competition himself, winning The first-ever Australian The X Factor back in 2003, Guy has since built a solid reputation for his professionalism and singing skills and with it a big Aussie fan base.   

Guy Sebastian returns as a coach on The Voice Australia 2021
Guy Sebastian returns as a coach on The Voice Australia 2021. Photo: Channel Seven

But even he had no idea what going on X Factor would mean for him. 

"I was a weird-looking chubby, half-Asian kid who didn’t have the pop star look," he revealed to Anh Do recently on Brush With Fame

"I got on the train with all these rejection letters, tail between my legs and thought, I can’t change how I look, but I can still be a musician."

And what a musician he became! Since then the 39-year-old dad of two has had six number-one singles and three number-one albums. He has won 50 national and international awards for his music, including six ARIA Awards and been nominated for hundreds more. 

He has also enjoyed a prolific time on Australian TV helping others fulfil their dreams becoming a judge on the show that him a star, The X Factor Australia, before joining The Voice in 2014.

But Guy first priority is his family - his wife Jules, 41, who he's been with for 21 years, and their sons Hudson, nine, and Archie, seven.

Guy Sebastian with his portrait by Ahn Do on Ahn's show 'Brush With Fame'
Guy Sebastian appears on Ahn Do's 'Brush With Fame'. Photo: ABC

This lead to the launch of their charity The Sebastian Foundation, a chance to change lives for the better by giving families and young Australians the resilience and confidence they need to grow and be their best. 

"The Sebastian Foundation came about quite organically, and I always wanted to have something official where we could make an impact," Guy says. "We're now getting into schools and wanting to help children with their mental health. Kids are now just facing things that are reserved for adulthood, and so this foundation was gifted to us."

And now the singer, songwriter, producer is once again helping Aussie singers be heard by a larger audience by once again lending his authenticity and gravitas to The Voice.

"I LOVE it. The Voice Australia is such a positive show for the music industry. No one is made fun of, everyone is not only encouraged but also taught such valuable lessons about the industry and how to best showcase their art," Guy says.

"The evolution of The Voice in 2021 is genuinely exciting," Guy adds. "I am so happy to be working alongside these amazing coaches. I have known Jess for a long time, I am a huge admirer of Keith and Rita is a great talent. I really feel like this panel will genuinely nurture a new generation of artists."

Rita Ora

She may be the baby of the group but UK singing sensation Rita Ora, 30, has more than enough credentials to mentor the next generation of singing sensations.

Rita signed her first recording deal at just 18 and holds the record for the most top 10 hits for a female British artist. 

UK songstress Rita Ora is one of the new coaches on 'The Voice Australia' 2021
UK songstress Rita Ora is one of the new coaches on 'The Voice Australia' 2021. Photo: Channel Seven

The songstress clearly wanted to be a performer from a young age attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London that boasts famous graduates such as model Lily Cole, actress Keely Hawes and fellow chart-toppers Dua Lipa and Baby Spice Emma Bunton. 

She began performing in her dad's pub and at open mic nights where her talent was recognised and in 2008 she auditioned on UK TV to become the UK entry in The Eurovision Song Contest the following year. Although she won, she turned down the opportunity to represent her country and was signed soon after by American label Roc Nation.

Since then she has become a multi-hyphened celeb turning her hand to acting, modelling and fashion designing as well. She played Christian Grey's sister in the three film adaptations of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and is set to play the Artful Dodger in an upcoming big-screen adaption of Oliver Twist.

Singer Rita Ora perfoms
Rita Ora performs on stage at the Oscars. Photo: Getty Images

Since arriving in Australia to start filming The Voice Rita has also set tongues wagging with her blossoming romance with Hollywood's hottest director Taika Waititi. There are even reports she moved into his eastern suburbs Sydney home while Taika, 45, films Thor: Love and Thunder down under.

But she loves being in Australia. "I feel like I'm at home..." she says. "It is beautiful to be around people and to be working. I'm very grateful to be working and just to see the sun."

Having been a judge on The X Factor in the UK and a coach on the version of The Voice UK, Rita is an experienced edition to the Australian show.

"I love The Voice and I absolutely adore Australia so this is a match made in heaven," Rita says. "Having been a coach on the UK series, I know just how powerful it can be in making dreams come true. I can’t wait to find Australia’s next superstar."

Keith Urban

While a lot of Aussie know him as Mr Nicole Kidman, New Zealand born, Aussie raised Keith is a world-renowned musician, songwriter and producer.

Known as a big hitter in the country music scene, particularly in the US, Keith also got his break by entering local music competitions and tv shows. In 1983, the then 16-year-old singer appeared on Aussie talent show New Faces. Within a few years, he had broken into the Australian country music industry and regularly appeared on the Reg Lindsay Country Homestead TV Program.

Keith Urban playing guitar is a new coach The Voice Australia 2021
Keith Urban returns to 'The Voice Australia' after 10 years as a coach. Photo: Channel Seven

After signing with EMI, Keith moved to the country capital, Nashville, where he really built a following and before long was collaborating with fellow giants of the music scene including Taylor Swift, Post Malone, John Mayer and Keith Richards.

However, for those outside the country music scene, it was when he started romancing homegrown Hollywood star Nicole Kidman that Keith, 53, came onto a lot of people's radar. The couple clicked at a G'Day LA event in January 2005 and just six months later they started dating. The pair married in a beautiful ceremony in Sydney in June 2006 but it wasn't all smooth sailing from there.

The country musician had formerly admitted to using and abusing cocaine and just four months after his wedding Keith booked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic in California. "I deeply regret the hurt this has caused Nicole and the ones who love and support me," he said in a statement he released at the time. "One can never let one's guard down on recovery, and I'm afraid that I have."

He credits Nicole, 54, with keeping him sober and the pair have since gone on to have two beautiful daughters Sunday Rose, 12 and Faith Margaret, 10.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009
Nicole Kidman, right, and Keith Urban arrive at the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images

"The thing I marvel at the most is how she does that and takes care of our family," Keith told The Today Show about Nicole. "She's an amazing wife and mother.

"People ask me, 'How do you do it?' I say, 'It's Nic!'... She's got all of us so incredibly taken care of. She's amazing."

Keith is not a newcomer to The Voice Australia having been a coach for season one of the show but now he's back and ready to find new musical talent. 

"The stars have finally aligned again!," Keith says. "Ten years after spinning in the first season, and just before getting back on stage around the world, I’ve been invited back alongside a very cool and musically diverse panel.”

Jessica Mauboy

Since rising to fame on the fourth season of Australian Idol, Jessica has become one of Australia's most successful female artists.

The multi-talented singer, actress and musician has garnered many awards for her albums and singles as well as starred in films Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires, for which earned her awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her TV work starring in The Secret Daughter cemented her position as Aussie's sweetheart.

Actress and singer Jessica Mauboy is one of the new coaches on 'The Voice Australia' 2021
Actress and singer Jessica Mauboy is one of the new coaches on 'The Voice Australia' 2021. Photo: Channe Seven
Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell, Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman in 'The Sapphires'
Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell, Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman in 'The Sapphires'

Jess is also a proud Kuku Yalanji woman celebrating her indigenous heritage. "I was born on Dreamtime land and grew up in Darwin with my mum and four sisters in the suburb of Wulagi," she told Marie Claire last year as she supported the campaign Uluru Statement From The Heart. " I feel like I was born cultural. I am Darwin, I am the Northern Territory, I am the saltwater, the freshwater and the desert."

Becoming a role model for many young indigenous and non-indigenous Australians alike is something that Jessica has come to accept but she hopes it leads them to some of their own self-discovery.

"I respect that I have become a role model or healer to a little girl or young man, but for them to sit with their feelings is the best," she says.

 But music is her first love, and she credit's her family with her success in the industry.

Now she is joining The Voice as a coach and no doubt bringing skills she learned as a contestant on Australian Idol and competing for Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018

“I’m so proud of the talent that exists in this country. I know firsthand exactly how life-changing a show like this can be," she says. "So I’m honoured to be part of such an experienced team of coaches and I’m looking forward to some amazing chair-turning moments.”

The Voice will be coming to Channel 7 and 7Plus after The Olympics.

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