Judith Durham, lead singer of The Seekers has died at age 79.
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The Australian singer passed away in palliative care on Friday night in Melbourne following complications from chronic lung disease.
News of her death has shocked the music community, with fans and co-members of The Seekers leading tributes to the entertainer.
Judith Durham was one of the first Australian artists to achieve international success alongside her Seekers bandmates.
After joining the band in 1963, The Seekers moved to the UK and many of their songs such as I’ll Never Find Another You, Georgy Girl and A World Of Our Own topped the British charts.
In 1995 The Seekers were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and in 2014 were honored as Officers of the Order of Australia.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has led tributes for Judith Durham, sharing to Twitter:
“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.
“Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten.”
Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger, the surviving Seekers’ bandmates also shared a moving statement, describing Judith as “our treasured lifelong friend and shining star.”
In a statement Athol Guy said that “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.”
Australian singer Anthony Callea took to Twitter on Saturday to share his respects, “the skies above just gained a voice of an angel” he wrote.
Magda Szubanski shared that “Her [Judith] beautiful, crystalline voice was the naive but knowing siren sing of my childhood. Deepest condolences to her loved ones.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton paid tribute to Judith, describing her as someone who “gave voice to more than one generation of Australians through words of universal appeal, carried by melodies that, once heard, became fixed in our memories”.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Sunday evening that he had “spoken with Judith Durham’s family today and I’m pleased they have accepted the offer of a State Funeral to honor the life and contribution of a true icon of Australian Music.”