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James Dixon Swan (born 28 April 1956), better known as Jimmy Barnes, is a Scottish-born Australian rock singer-songwriter. His father Jim Swan was a prizefighter and his older brother John Swan is also a rock singer. It was actually John who had encouraged and taught Jim how to sing as he wasn't really interested at the time. His career as both a solo performer and as the lead vocalist with the rock band Cold Chisel has made him one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. The combination of 14 Australian Top 40 albums for Cold Chisel and 13 charting solo albums, including nine No. 1s, gives Barnes the highest number of hit albums of any Australian artist.
Jimmy Barnes was born in Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Adelaide, South Australia as a 4-year old on 7 January 1961 with his parents Jim and Dorothy Swan and siblings John, Linda, Lisa & Alan. They eventually settled in Elizabeth. Shortly afterward, Barnes' parents divorced. His mother Dorothy soon remarried, to a clerk named Reg Barnes. After her daughter Lisa was teased by a schoolmate about being adopted, Dorothy encouraged her children to change their surname to Barnes. All of them did except for the oldest brother John, who would go on to be much better known as Swanee, eventually recording a series of albums under that name from the 1980s. This would later cause confusion about Jimmy Barnes and Swan; many thought them to be half- or stepbrothers.