Introducing Doctor Jimmy Barnes

30 September 2022 | 9:28 am | Brenton Harris

The rock doctor will see you now.


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The rock doctor will see you now. Aussie rock royalty Jimmy Barnes has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia.

The iconic voice of Cold Chisel and enormously successful solo artist was awarded the doctorate for his 'distinguished service to the community'. Accepting the wared, the music legend and prolific screamer, said he was "both humbled and proud" to receive the doctorate. 

In a lengthy but lively and entertaining acceptance speech, Barnes provided an overview of his hard upbringing which brought him from the backstreets of Glasgow to "sunny South Australia" to the pub circuit and eventually some of the biggest stages the world has to offer.  Barnes's full acceptance speech can be viewed below. 

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd explained the decision to award the honorary doctorate to Barnes. “From working-class boy to working-class man to working-class hero, Jimmy has had to overcome adversity and countless setbacks, bouncing back stronger each time,” Prof Lloyd says. “If you want a gold standard for the ‘unstoppable career’, then Jimmy Barnes is it.”

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I am both humbled and proud to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate awarded to me by the University of South Australia....

Posted by Jimmy Barnes on Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Born in Glasgow and raised in Elizabeth, James Dixon Barnes AO was just 16 when he joined Cold Chisel in 1973, bringing his passion and unique vocal style to a band that would become a defining act of the Australian pub rock scene.

Following Chisel’s breakup in 1983, Barnes’ 1984 solo debut Bodyswerve topped the charts, as did the 1985 follow-up, For the Working Class Man, an album that spawned his signature tune, Working Class Man, and cemented his place as the voice of a generation.

Since then, Barnes’ musical career has taken in 20 solo albums – including a record 13 ARIA number ones – along with a hugely successful Cold Chisel reunion. He has released three autobiographical books and a film that reveals the struggles and triumphs of a lifetime in the public eye, as well as two children’s books and a cookbook with his wife, Jane.

With a career that now spans five decades, Barnes has performed over 10,000 gigs, and he continues to thrive on the connection with his fans that live performance delivers.

Jimmy Barnes and Bliss N Eso will lead an all-Aussie entertainment lineup at this weekend's NRL Grand Final at Accor Stadium.

The NRL Grand Final pre-game show will be headlined by  Barnes, who will perform with friends including ARIA-winning singer-songwriters, the DIESEL and special guest Josh Teskey, alongside award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Emma Donovan.  

Break-out Eurovision 2022 star Sheldon Riley will bring his spectacular style to Accor Stadium with a cinematic and unique performance.

Australian hip-hop legends Bliss n Eso (featuring JOY) will perform their hit, Moments paying tribute to the game’s retiring players.  

Speaking about the honour of appearing at the event, Barnes shared his thoughts "Grand Final Day is a chance for us to all come together and celebrate with the best of the best. I can’t wait to perform with an exciting all-Australian pre-game show line up in front of a full house again.”