Judith Durham, the lead singer of the legendary Australian band The Seekers, has died at the age of 79.

Athol Guy released a statement on behalf of the band saying their lives had “changed forever losing our treasured lifelong friend and shining star”.

“Her struggle was intense and heroic — never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion,” Guy said.

“Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share.”

Judith Durham, the lead singer of the legendary Australian band The Seekers, has died at the age of 79.
Judith Durham, the lead singer of the legendary Australian band The Seekers, has died at the age of 79. (Getty)

Universal Music released a statement saying Durham “passed away peacefully” in palliative care on Friday night following a brief stay in the Alfred Hospital.

Her death was a result of complications from a long-standing chronic lung disease, the record label said.

It released a statement from Durham’s “beloved” sister, Beverley Sheehan, who spoke of their closeness throughout life and shared love of music.

“Judith’s joy for life, her constant optimism, creativity and generosity of spirit were always an inspiration to me,” Sheehan said.

Durham’s nephew Tony Sheehan, speaking for his brother Ben and sister Belinda, said: “We have been blessed to share our lives with her.”

Music legends sold 50 million records

Durham joined The Seekers in the 1960s alongside Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley and released hits like I’ll Never Find Another You and The Carnival Is Over.

While huge in Australia, they also found success in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The group sold more than 50 million records.

They were joint recipients of the Australian of the Year award in 1967, but split up the following year when Durham left to pursue a solo career.

The Seekers receiving their gold record at Travelodge Motel, Kings Cross. January 1, 1968. (Fairfax)

Twenty-eight years later in 1995, they were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In 2014 they were honoured as Officers of the Order of Australia.

Durham married her musical director, British pianist Rob Edgeworth, in 1969.

In 1990, Durham, Edgeworth and their tour manager Peter Summers were in a car accident in Victoria. The driver of the other car died and Durham suffered a broken wrist and leg.

Judith Durham at The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame Announcement at Palais Theatre on June 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty)

The fan response made Durham consider reuniting with The Seekers for a Silver Jubilee show. During the reunion, Edgeworth was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He died in 1994, with Durham by his side.

Durham suffered a stroke in May 2013, during the Seekers’ Golden Jubilee tour. The stroke meant she could no longer read or write, but she eventually made progress in rebuilding those skills. The stroke did not affect her ability to sing.

In July 2015, Durham was named Victorian of the Year for her services to music and number of different charities.

Judith Durham
Legendary Australian singer-songwriter Judith Durham. (The Seekers)

More to come…

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