Australian folk music legend and lead singer of The Seekers, Judith Durham, has passed away at age 79. Universal Music Australia and Musicoast said Durham died on August 5 at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after complications from chronic lung disease, reported ABC News.
After joining The Seekers in 1963, she made her first recording at 19. The quartet eventually sold 50 million records, becoming the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the United States and the U.K.
Among their international hits were “The Carnival is Over,” “I’ll Never Find Another You,” “A World of Our Own,” and “Georgy Girl.” Despite going solo in 1968, Durham recorded with The Seekers again in the 1990s.
“This is a sad day for Judith’s family, her fellow Seekers, the staff of Musicoast, the music industry and fans worldwide, and all of us who have been part of Judith’s life for so long,” said Graham Simpson, member of The Seekers’ management team.
Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy, her bandmates in The Seekers, said the loss of “our treasured lifelong friend and shining star” had changed their lives forever.”Her struggle was intense and heroic, never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion. Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share,” they said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described Durham as a “national treasure and an Australian icon.”Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists,” Albanese wrote on Twitter. “Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten.”
In her home state of Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews said Durham had triumphed in both the Australian and international music worlds. He said, “With her unique voice and stage presence leading The Seekers, the band became one of Australia’s biggest chart toppers.”