News - Aug 08, 2022

State funeral to be held for Judith Durham, late singer of The Seekers

State funeral to be held for Judith Durham, late singer of The Seekers
State funeral to be held for Judith Durham, late singer of The Seekers

Judith Durham, the lead singer of The Seekers, will be honored with a state funeral in Victoria. Following a telephone conversation with Durham's family, state premier Daniel Andrews announced on his social media accounts that a state funeral will be held in honor of "a true icon of Australian music" The 79-year-old Durham passed away in Melbourne last Friday after suffering complications from a long-standing lung condition.

A tribute to Durham was led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who described Durham as “a national treasure and an Australian icon” as well as a singer whose life was dedicated to establishing a new strand of our national identity by “setting a new pathway for a new generation of Aussie artists.”

It was the folk-pop pioneers of the 1960s who became the first Australian act to reach the top of the U.K. singles chart when their 1965 song "I'll Never Find Another You" achieved this feat.

Their next top song was “The Carnival Is Over,” which reached No. 1 again in the U.K. In just two years, they achieved six top 10 hits in the U.K, including “Georgy Girl,” a song nominated for an Academy Award for originality. It reached No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 in just two years.

The group performed to an audience of 200,000 in March 1967, at the height of their power. This is still considered the largest concert crowd in the southern hemisphere. They were also named "Australians of the Year" in 1967.

Several times, including during the band's 50th-anniversary tour in 2013, Durham has reunited with the Seekers, who embarked on a solo career in 1967. In spite of these best-laid plans, Durham suffered a cerebral hemorrhage during the course of his medical treatment.

After recovering, Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger, and Bruce Woodley were individually recognized as Officers of the Order of Australia the following year. Their achievements in Australian music include being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1995, receiving the Ted Albert Award for outstanding contribution to Australian music at the APRA Awards 2013, and being honored with a stamp.

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