Australian folk music icon Judith Durham dies at 79

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Australian folk music icon Judith Durham, who rose to global fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, has died. She was 79 years old.

Durham died at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne on Friday night after suffering a long-term lung disease, Universal Music Australia and Musicost said in a statement on Saturday.

She made 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 major chart and sales success in the UK and the United States, eventually selling 50 million records.

International hits include “The Carnival Is Over,” “I’ll Never Find Another You,” “A World of Our Own” and “Georgie Girl.”

Durham began a solo career in 1968 but re-recorded with The Seekers in the 1990s.

Graham, a member of The Seekers’ management team, said: “This is a sad day for Judith’s family, her fellow Seekers, Musicost employees, the music industry and fans around the world, and all of us who have been a part of Judith’s life. ” Simpson.

His bandmates in The Seekers – Keith Potter, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy – stated that his life was changed forever by losing “our treasured lifelong friend and shining star”.

“His struggle was intense and heroic, he never complained about his fate and fully accepted its conclusion. His illustrious musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share,” he said.

Tributes flowed in for the beloved singer, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese describing Durham as “a national treasure and an Australian icon”.

Albanese wrote on Twitter: “Judith Durham voices a renewed sense of our identity and helps make a mark for a new generation of Australian artists.” “His kindness will be remembered by many, the anthem he gave to our nation will never be forgotten.”

In his home state of Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews said Durham had conquered the music world in Australia and abroad.

“Led by The Seekers, with their unique voice and on-stage presence, the band became one of Australia’s biggest chart toppers,” he said.