G Yunupingu Dies

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The Age has reported that world-renowned singer, Dr G Yunupingu, died on Tuesday at the age of just 46 from illness at the Royal Darwin Hospital. He had been reportedly battling chronic liver and kidney-related problems. His record label Skinnyfish also announced his passing in a statement.

“Today we mourn the loss of a great Australian, Dr G. Yunupingu who sadly passed away yesterday in Royal Darwin Hospital at age 46 after a long battle with illness,” read the statement.

“Dr G. Yunpingu is remembered today as one of the most important figures in Australian music history, blind from birth and emerging from the remote Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land to sell over half a million copies of his albums across the world, singing in his native Yolngu language.

“His debut album cemented him as the Australian voice of a generation, hitting triple platinum in Australia, silver in the UK and charting in multiple other countries across the globe. The highest selling Indigenous artist in history, Dr G. Yunupingu released two subsequent top five studio albums Rrakala and The Gospel Album, achieved a swag of ARIA Awards, performed across the globe for audiences including Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama and released the first Indigenous language single to reach the top five, all the while continuing to call Elcho Island home.

“Dr G. Yunupingu also gave back to his community as the driving force behind the G. Yunupingu Foundation, creating opportunities for young people across the Northern Territory. His legacy as a musician and community leader will continue as his life’s work continues its positive impact on Elcho Island, The Northern Territory, Australia and the world.”

Due to cultural sensitivities the label has requested the media not to use images or the first name of Dr Yunupingu ‘until further consultation with the family.’

According to The Age, the singer-songwriter from Elcho Island, who was born blind, became the highest-selling Indigenous artist in history, selling more than half a million copies of his albums, which were sung in a mix of Yolngu and English.

 

 

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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