Ex-Midnight Oil Singer Named Environmental Minister In Australia
January 2, 2008 at 5:32 AM (PT)
The music of PETER GARRETT has always been politically charged. Now the towering, bald-headed former singer of MIDNIGHT OIL is charged with practicing politics -- as AUSTRALIA's new environment minister, reports CNN.
GARRETT founded the band when he was a law student in 1973, but the group did not achieve global fame until its 1987 track "Beds are Burning," a protest song about Aboriginal land rights in AUSTRALIA. With his wild dancing and strident voice, GARRETT became one of AUSTRALIA's most recognizable singers until the band broke up in 2002.
A longtime environmental campaigner and advocate for Aboriginal rights, GARRETT made his first foray into politics with an unsuccessful bid for the Senate as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1984.
The 6-foot, 6-inch singer disbanded MIDNIGHT OIL in 2002 to focus on his political career. He was elected to Parliament two years later and enjoyed a meteoric rise through the LABOR PARTY ranks, being immediately appointed as an opposition spokesman on the arts and Aboriginal affairs.