Melbourne, Australia — Judith Durham, the Australian folk music icon who rose to worldwide fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, has died. She was 79 years old.
Durham died Friday night at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after suffering complications from a long-standing lung condition, Universal Music Australia and Musicoast said in a statement on Saturday.
She made her first recording aged 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 US. United, eventually selling 50 million records.
International hits include “The Carnival is Over”, “I’ll Never Find Another You”, “A World of Our Own” and “Georgy Girl”.
Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968 but recorded again with The Seekers in the 1990s.
“It’s a sad day for Judith’s family, fellow Seekers, Musicoast staff, the music industry and fans everywhere, 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. Simpsons.
His bandmates in The Seekers – Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy – said their lives had been changed forever by losing “our precious lifelong friend and our shining star”.
“His fight was intense and heroic, never complaining about his fate and fully accepting its conclusion. His wonderful musical legacy, Keith, Bruce and I are so lucky to share it,” they said.
Tributes poured in for the beloved singer, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese describing Durham as “a national treasure and an Australian icon”.
“Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand 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, the anthems she 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.
“With their unique vocals and stage presence leading The Seekers, the band have become one of the biggest names on the Australian charts,” he said.