Judith Durham, longtime lead singer of the Australian pop-folk group The Seekers, died on Friday, August 5, at age 79 after a lengthy illness.
According to a statement from Universal Music Australia and the Musicoast label, Durham died of “complications from a long-standing chronic lung disease,” and “passed away peacefully” Friday evening at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, after being admitted to palliative care earlier that day.
Formed in 1962, The Seekers were the first Australian pop group to enjoy major chart success in the U.S. and the U.K. The Seekers are best-known in the States for “Georgy Girl,” the title song of the 1966 comedy-drama film of the same name, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.
The group also scored two top 20 U.S. hits in 1965 — “I’ll Never Find Another You” and “A World of Our Own,” which reached #4 and #19, respectively, on the Hot 100. In addition, The Seekers topped the U.K. singles chart in ’65 with “I’ll Never Find Another You” and “The Carnival Is Over.”
The Seekers disbanded in 1968 when Durham left the group to pursue a solo career, but they went on to reunite numerous times over the ensuing years. Most recently, The Seekers mounted a “Golden Jubilee Tour” celebrating their 50th anniversary that took place in 2013 and 2014.
Durham’s three Seekers bandmates — Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy — issued a joint statement following Durham’s passing that reads, “Our lives are changed forever losing our treasured lifelong friend and shining star. Her struggle was intense and heroic — never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese posted a tribute to Durham on his Twitter feed, calling her a “national treasure and an Australian icon.”
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