Michael Gudinski, an icon of the Australian music industry that helped shape its sound for decades, has died at the age of 68.
A veteran Mushroom Records owner who is also a tourist promoter died in his sleep in Melbourne on Monday night, his label said.
Gudinski was best known for promoting local talent, helping to create stars such as Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes.
In a tribute, Minogue called Gudinski a “titan of the music industry” and said her “heart is broken”.
“One of a kind and forever family to me”, she wrote on Twitter. “Irreplaceable and unforgettable, I’ll always love you ‘The Big G'”.
Australian rock music star Barnes, who Gudinski aided to become one of the country’s best-selling artists, said “the heart of Australian music” has been “shattered” by his passing.
“Michael Gudinski was not only that heart but also my friend,” he said.
Gudisnki’s Contributions To Music
In addition to helping to export home-grown stars, Gudinski is also a major international actor in Australia with his pioneer travel company.
Frontier Touring has led to attracting foreign names to Australia in the 1980s and 1990s, including Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones.
In more recent times, it has released Bruce Springsteen and Ed Sheeran. Both honored the chief executive on Tuesday.
“I have traveled the world 50 years ago and have never met a better promoter,” Springsteen wrote in a detailed statement.
“He will be remembered by artists, including this one, who come from all over the world every time they step on Australian soil.”
‘I’ll Miss You Mate’
Sheeran posted a picture of the pair, saying: “I’ll miss you mate.”
American rock band Foo Fighters, that Gudinski helped to tour Australia, thanked him “for giving us and many others the best night of our lives. Over and over again”.
“We will miss you very much. Rock & Roll will miss you very much,” they said.
While Gudinski worked to compose and make Australian music truly global, he also focused on local music.
With his record label in the 1970s and 1980s, he signed for Australian acts such as Skyhooks, The Choirboys and Paul Kelly and New Zealand team Split Enz.
The acts went on to define the sound of Australian pub rock.
Towering Figure Of Australian Cultural Landscape
In 1987, he signed a young singer who would become Australia’s biggest international pop star – Kylie Minogue.
Last month, she praised Gudinski for organising a concert to benefit small towns hit by both bushfires and the pandemic.
“His passion for the music scene, for performers, crews and audiences knows no bounds,” she wrote in the post on Instagram.
His death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from many others.
Actor Russell Crowe called his friend “a towering figure on the Australian cultural landscape”.