State premier Daniel Andrews announced on social media that, after speaking with Durham’s family, they accepted the offer of a state funeral to “honor the life and contribution of a true icon of Australian music.”
I’ve spoken with Judith Durham’s family today and I’m pleased they have accepted the offer of a State Funeral to honour the life and contribution of a true icon of Australian music.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 7, 2022
Durham died in Melbourne last Friday (Aug. 5), aged 79, after suffering complications from a long-standing lung condition.
Following her passing, prime minister Anthony Albanese led tributes, describing Durham as “a national treasure and an Australian icon” and a singer who “gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists.”
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.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) August 6, 2022
The folk-pop trailblazers became the first Australian act to top the U.K. singles chart when their 1965 song “I’ll Never Find Another You” peaked out at No. 1.
Later that year, they hit the top spot again in the U.K. with “The Carnival Is Over.” In the space of just two years, they grabbed six U.K. top 10 hits, including their best-known track “Georgy Girl,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for original song and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In March 1967, at the peak of their powers, the group performed to an audience of 200,000 — still considered the biggest concert crowd in the southern hemisphere. Also during 1967, they were named “Australians of the Year.”
Durham embarked on a solo career in 1967, and reunited with the band on several occasions, including in 2013, for the Seekers’ 50th anniversary tour. Those best-laid plans, however, took a back seat when Durham suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
She recovered, and the following year Durham and her bandmates Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley were individually recognized as Officers of the Order of Australia.
The Seekers were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1995, they received the Ted Albert Award for outstanding services to Australian music at the APRA Awards in 2013, and they’ve had a stamp issued in their honor.
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