The tragic news was confirmed by his label, Skinnyfish Music.
‘Dr G Yunupingu 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,’ it read.
‘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.’
He is remembered as the greatest-selling indigenous artist ever, performing for Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama. In 1991 his work with indigenous band Yothu Yindi gave rise to the hit Treaty.
In his career he also performed with Steve Wonder, Delta Goodrem and Missy Higgins, and also was on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2011 which hailed him as ‘Australia’s most important voice’.
His work with the G Yunupingu foundation has changed lives of young people across Australia’s Northern Territory.
The family of Dr Yunupingu have asked for privacy during this time.
- This article first published on New Idea.