May 30, 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Judith Durham, the Australian folk musician who rose to global fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, has died. It was 79.

Durham died in Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital on Friday night after complications from long-term lung disease, Universal Music Australia and Musicoast said in a statement on Saturday.

She made her first recording at 19 and rose to fame after joining The Seekers in 1963. The four-piece became the first Australian group to achieve major chart and sales success in the UK and US, eventually selling 50 million disks.

International hits included “The Carnival is Over”, “I’ll Never Find Another You”, “A World of Our Own” and “Georgy Girl”.

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

“This is a sad day for Judith’s family, her fellow Seekers, the 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,” the member said. of The Seekers management team, Graham. Simpson.

Her co-stars in The Seekers — Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy — said their lives had been changed forever by losing “our dear friend and shining star”.

“Her struggle was intense and heroic, she never complained about her fate and fully accepted her fate. Her wonderful musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share,” they said.

Tributes have poured in for the much-loved singer, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese describing Durham as a “national treasure and Australian icon”.

“Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Australian artists,” Albanese tweeted. “Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave our nation will never be forgotten.”

In the state of Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews said Durham had taken the music world by storm both in Australia and overseas.

“With her unique voice and stage presence leading The Seekers, the band became one of Australia’s biggest chart acts,” he said.

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