Judith Durham, Australian folk-pop icon and lead singer of The Seekers, dies at 79

Judith Durham, who gained worldwide fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, died Friday at the age of 79. The Australian folk-pop pioneer has died as a result of complications from a long battle with lung disease at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital. according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“This is a sad day for Judith’s family, her fellow Searchers, the Musicoast staff, the music industry and fans around the world, and for all of us who have been a part of Judith’s life for so long,” said Graham Simpson, a member of the band. group management team.

Many have kindly paid their respects online, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who highlighted her kindness and legacy.

“A national treasure and Australian icon, Judith Durham voiced a new branch of our identity and helped pave the way for a new generation of Australian artists.” Albanian tweeted. “Her kindness will be missed by many, the hymns she gave to our people will never be forgotten.”

Durham’s bandmates Keith Potter, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy posted on facebook or her “tense and heroic” struggle.

“Our lives have been changed forever by the loss of our cherished friend and shining star,” they wrote. “Her struggle was intense and heroic – she never complained about her fate and fully accepted its outcome. Her great musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so happy to share.”

Durham originally dreamed of becoming a pianist and earned her Associate’s degree from the University of Melbourne Conservatory. according to her website. She was an equally passionate singer and at 18 began taking vocal lessons.

Durham joined The Seekers in 1963 when the group released their debut album, Introduction The Seekers. They achieved international prominence as the first Australian band to achieve mainstream success in the US and UK.

The Seekers were the first Australian band to achieve mainstream success in the US and UK.
The Seekers were the first Australian band to achieve mainstream success in the US and UK.

John Waterman via Getty Images

“The Carnival is Over” and “A World of Our Own” were hits that propelled the band’s meteoric rise. Durham briefly left The Seekers to become a solo artist and returned to the group in the 1990s. The group has sold 50 million records worldwide.

The Seekers’ legacy includes Durham, who received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1995 and the Centenary Medal in 2003 for her services to music. according to BBC. The Melbourne native also won Victorian of the Year in 2015, and state premier Dan Andrews recently shared his condolences.

“With her unique voice and stage presence leading The Seekers, the group has become one of Australia’s biggest chart toppers.” Andrews tweeted.

“In 2015, Judith Durham was named Victorian of the Year for her services to music and a number of philanthropic activities,” Andrews added. “Her memory will live on not only in her many hits, but in the hearts of generations of Victorians and Australians.”