MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Judith Durham, the Australian popular music icon who achieved international fame as lead singer of The Seekers, has passed away. She was 79 years old.
Universal Music Australia and Musiccost said in a statement on Saturday that Durham died at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne on Friday evening after suffering complications from a chronic lung disease.
She recorded her first recording at the age of 19 and rose to fame after joining The Seekers in 1963. The group of four became the first Australian band to achieve chart success and sales in the United Kingdom and the United States, eventually selling 50 million records.
International hit songs included “Carnival’s Over”, “I’ll Never Find Someone Else”, “A World of Our Own” and “George Girl”.
Durham began his solo career in 1968, but scored with The Seekers again in the 1990s.
“This is a sad day for Judith’s family, fellow researchers, Musicoast staff, the music industry and fans around the world, and all of us who have been a part of Judith’s life for so long,” said Graham, a member of The Seekers management team. Simpson.
Her bandmates The Seekers – Keith Buttger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Gay – said their lives were forever changed by the loss of our “dear friend and shining star”.
“Her struggle was intense and heroic, she never complained about her fate and completely accepted her end. Her wonderful musical legacy Keith and Bruce and I are so lucky to share them,” they said.
Tributes to the beloved singer poured in, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calling Durham a “national treasure and Australian icon”.
“Judith Durham has given voice to a new thread of our identity and helped pave the way for a new generation of Australian artists,” Albanese wrote on Twitter. Her kindness will be missed by many, and the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten.
In her home state of Victoria, Prime Minister Dan Andrews said Durham had conquered the music world in Australia and beyond.
“With their unique voice and stage presence driving The Seekers, the band has become one of the biggest in Australia,” he said.