Ethereal-voiced Australian pop-folk singer Judith Durham-who fronted hit 1960s group The Seekers-has died aged 79, the country’s arts minister said Saturday. Durham, born in 1943 in Melbourne, gained international fame with upbeat hits like “Georgy Girl” and a series of covers and collaborations with the likes of Paul Simon. “Once, the best known Australian voice was Judith Durham’s”, said arts minister Tony Burke.
“With The Seekers and solo Judith earned her place as an icon of our music”, he added. Burke recounted one 1967 gig that was attended by a tenth of Melbourne’s entire population at the time.
“What a contribution. What a loss.” Aside from “Georgy Girl”, Durham’s soaring range and pseudo-operatic style is perhaps best known from “The Carnival is Over”, which sold more than one million copies in Britain alone and topped the charts for weeks.
At home, The Seekers are still a household name and are well known to younger Australians for the song “I am an Australian”, which is still the theme song of the country’s public broadcaster ABC. – AFP