Judith Durham, lead singer of The Seekers, dies at 79

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Judith Durham, known as the lead singer of Australian band The Seekers, died in Melbourne on Friday, August 5, from complications of bronchiectasis, a lung disease. She was 79.

Judith Durham in 1970.
Image: Allan Warren.

Durham first began singing with jazz bands while studying piano at the University of Melbourne. She joined The Seekers, a male folk trio, in 1963. They went on to become the first Australian band to have chart successes in the US and UK, including "I’ll Never Find Another You", "A World of Our Own", "The Carnival Is Over", "Morningtown Ride", and "Georgy Girl." She left for a solo career in 1968, returning from 1993 onward. They were inducted into the Order of Australia in 2014.

Her three bandmates Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy jointly paid tribute to Durham as "our treasured lifelong friend and shining star." Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese called her "a national treasure and an Australian icon." The Victoria state government has announced that Durham will receive a state funeral.

Durham was married to British pianist Ron Edgeworth from 1969 until his death from motor neurone disease in 1994. Her older sister Beverly Sheehan, a jazz singer, survives her.