Death of Judith Durham

Australian music legend Judith Durham has died aged 79.

Durham AOM rose to fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, best known for I will never find another you, I am Australian and Carnival is over.

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Seven’s entertainment editor Peter Ford first tweeted the news of her passing, describing her as “one of the great singers in this country”.

“As part of The Seekers and as a solo performer, she was superb,” ​​he said.

“Also a really kind and generous person.”

The Seekers perform in Canberra on their Golden Jubilee Tour in 2013. Credit: ALAN PORRITT/AAPIMAGE

She died in hospital on Friday evening following a battle with a chronic illness.

“After a brief stay at Alfred Hospital, Judith was admitted to palliative care on Friday August 5, where she died peacefully that evening,” her management said in a statement on Saturday.

“His death was the result of complications from a long-standing chronic lung disease.”

Career with The Seekers

Durham joined The Seekers in the 1960s alongside Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley in Melbourne.

In 1967, the band members were named co-recipients of the Australian of the Year award, the only band to be honored to date.

The trio became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the UK and US, eventually selling 50 million records.

The group disbanded a year later when Durham left to pursue a solo career, but reunited for shows over the coming decades.

In 1995 the Seekers were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and nearly two decades later the members were honored individually as Officers of the Order of Australia.

Durham married her musical manager Ron Edgeworth in 1969 before briefly moving to Europe.

Seekers singer Judith Durham has died aged 79. Credit: JULIAN SMITH/AAPIMAGE
Judith Durham in Melbourne in 2011. Credit: Martin Philbey/PA

In 1990, the couple and their tour manager Peter Summers were involved in a car crash in Victoria, resulting in the death of the driver of the other car, as well as Durham suffering a broken wrist and leg.

The fan response prompted a reunion of The Seekers for a Silver Jubilee show. During this meeting, Edgeworth would be diagnosed with motor neurone disease, dying in 1994.

In May 2013, the band reunited again for a Golden Jubilee Tour. However, Durham will suffer a stroke which will affect his ability to read and write, including reading sheet music.

Her singing was unaffected by the stroke.

In 2015, she was named Victorian of the Year for her services to music and her involvement in charity.

The Seekers pay tribute

Universal Music Group shared a statement on behalf of Potger, Woodley and Athol Guy on Saturday.

“Our lives are forever changed by losing our forever precious friend and our shining star,” he said.

“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.”

Tributes to Judith Durham

Durham’s beloved sister Beverley Sheehan spoke of the closeness they shared throughout their lives, including their love of music.

“Judith’s zest for life, her constant optimism, her creativity and her generosity of spirit have always been an inspiration to me,” she said in a statement on Saturday.

Songs by Judith Durham

Throughout her years with The Seekers and her successful solo career, Durham was known for her hits, including:

  • you are my star
  • Anchor of my life
  • days of my life feat. Researchers
  • colors of my life feat. Researchers
  • Somewhere a child sleeps
  • Carnival is over
  • One day, one day feat. Researchers
  • Emerald City feat. Researchers
  • Just a closer walk with you
  • Mary’s Boy Child feat. The idea of ​​the North
  • The light is quite dark
  • If only I knew
  • moan on the willow
  • gift of song
  • We are together again
  • Walk on
  • Under the Southern Cross
  • The time has come to part
  • So much more
  • Seven Bridges Road
  • It takes what it takes
  • I never knew my daddy
  • Follow me
  • Come at our home
  • bluer than blue
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