Sister Janet (of the Sisters of Mercy order) has the distinction of being the first Australian recording artist to sell over one million copies of a locally produced record in the USA!
Her toe-tapping rendition of The Lord’s Prayer reached #4 in the USA (after having peaked at #3 in Australia) during January 1974. The single was issued in 31 countries and sold over two million copies.
Sister Janet was born in Adelaide in 1938 where she attended St Aloysius College and studied piano and violin. At the age of 16, she commenced studies there and soon joined the convent. Her studies continued at the Conservatorium, where she majored in piano performance.
While at St Aloysius College she taught music and drama until she moved to Mt Gambier, and it was here she met a family who shared the same musical interest as herself.
The Van Der Sman family and Sister Janet put together a group and for the next five years, they worked very successfully in music.
Sister Janet returned to St Aloysius College, this time in charge of Classical Music, Liturgical Music, Choral Works, Drama and Pop Music. Soon rock masses became part of the musical scene – drawing over 2,000 people into Adelaide’s Francis Xavier Cathedral each week.
Despite the mega success of The Lord’s Prayer, Sister Janet resisted the call to further her pop career.
Janet Mead died from cancer in Adelaide on 26 January 2022, aged 84.