Gamble Breaux is best known for her enviable style and razor sharp wit on The Real Housewives of Melbourne, but it was her unbelievable singing voice that was supposed to make her a household name.
Music always came easy to the former Sydney-sider, who’s mother recalls memories of a baby Gamble singing instead of speaking in her highchair. Opera lessons followed, before a change of pace to rock and roll and then stardom beckoned. At just 19-years-old the reality TV star was signed to record label Warner Chapel Music with the hope of making it big.
“It was really exciting. I was really focused and driven. I came on the back of Collette who was also signed to Warner Chapel and they were looking more for a Stevie Nicks character. They wanted a bit more rock and roll,” Gamble said.
But it was one day in the recording studio when Gamble’s world turned upside down, after a colleague noticed she was off pitch. The young singer realised she was rapidly losing her hearing.
“It happened really fast and then I realised I couldn’t hear the garbage man, I couldn’t hear people talking around me… That’s when it started to hit me that I was losing my hearing.
“The bone in my ear it had just grown with age when I grew into my bones, so it wouldn’t vibrate the sound,” Gamble said.
The then 20-year-old was diagnosed with otosclerosis, a debilitating condition that causes progressive hearing loss. Two operations followed, but a lack of confidence with her hearing led the talented performer to vow she would never sing again.
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“To tell you the truth I haven’t been able to speak about it for 20 years. If I tried to talk about it, it would be like being kicked in the guts and I start to well up,” she revealed to Mamamia.
Gamble said her stage fright became debilitating, until she decided last year enough was enough. She enlisted the help of Taxiride singer, Jason Singh, and undertook a series of singing lessons in the hope of surprising her husband, Rick.
“Jason was pinnacle to it all. He wrote the song to the sound of my music and the genre of my voice and the character of who I am as a performer. I think it’s one of the best songs he’s ever written.
After weeks of hard work, Gamble and Jason produced the single ‘This Time,’ a song dedicated to her husband, who Gamble says inspired her to take up singing again.
“It’s about meeting someone that inspires you and how they change your life and give you a new way of looking at things,” she said.
Gamble hopes her story will inspire others to keep pursuing their dreams, no matter the set back or the age.
“I have to say you can do almost anything with tenacity and if you never give up, you’ll find a way to do something.”
The song is available for download on iTunes.