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Judith Durham: The late singer of The Seekers will be given a state funeral

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Judith Durham: Victoria first family agreed to the offer of a state funeral, according to Daniel Andrews, in order to “celebrate the life and contribution of a true icon of Australian music.”

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Judith Durham: Australia’s first global pop queen

Judith Durham

Judith Durham, the lead vocalist of The Seekers, will be honoured with a state funeral in Victoria.

After consulting with Durham’s family, state premier Daniel Andrews declared on social media that they had accepted the offer of a state funeral to “celebrate the life and contribution of a great legend of Australian music.”

Durham, who had a chronic lung disease, passed away in  Melbourne last Friday August 5, at the age of 79.

Durham was remembered as “a national treasure and an Australian icon” and a singer who “gave voice to a fresh thread of our identity and helped pave the way for a new generation of Aussie artists” by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after her passing.

When the folk-pop pioneers’ 1965 single “I’ll Never Find Another You” reached at No. 1, they were the first Australian act to win the top spot on the U.K. singles chart.

With “The Carnival Is Over,” they again reached the top place in the U.K. later that year. They managed to score six top 10 songs in the United Kingdom in just two years, including “Georgy Girl,” their most well-known tune, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

At the height of their abilities, the ensemble played for 200,000 people in March 1967, which is still regarded as the largest concert crowd in the southern hemisphere. They were also recognised as “Australians of the Year” in 1967.

In 1967, Durham started a solo career. Since then, the group has come together several times, most recently in 2013 for the Seekers’ 50th anniversary tour. Thoughts of those well-laid plans were put on hold when Durham experienced a cerebral haemorrhage.

After making a full recovery, Durham, along with her bandmates Athol Guy, Keith Potger, and Bruce Woodley, received individual recognition as Officers of the Order of Australia the following year.

The Seekers earned the Ted Albert Award for extraordinary contributions to Australian music at the APRA Awards in 2013, were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1995, and a stamp was created in their honour.

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Ritika Bala
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