Judith Durham, the Australian folk heroine who scored worldwide hits with the band Sixties Researchersdied at the age of 79.
Universal Music Australia confirmed at the Associated Press that Durham died in a Melbourne hospital on Friday following a battle with bronchiectasis, a lung disease.
“Our lives are forever changed by losing our forever precious friend and our shining star,” the surviving members of the Seekers – Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy – said in a statement. “His fight was intense and heroic, never complaining about his fate and fully accepting his conclusion.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted On Saturday, “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. Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten.
Folk pop quartet The Seekers scored two top 10 hits in the United States in the mid-1960s, first with “I’ll Never Find Another You” and then with the 1966 single “Georgy Girl”, which went viral. peaked at Number Two on the Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars. Other singles include ‘The Carnival is Over’, ‘Someday, One Day’ written by Paul Simon and ‘A World of Our Own’.
The Seekers were also the first Australian band to make a musical impact in the United States, ahead of artists like the Bee Gees and Helen Reddy. However, the group disbanded in 1968, by which time Durham embarked on a long, award-winning and platinum solo career in his native Australia.
The Seekers were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 1995. The band, Durham included, were honored as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014.