The Seekers singer Judith Durham dies aged 79, six decades after the group formed

Judith Durham, one of Australia’s most beloved entertainers, has died aged 79.

Born in Essendon, Victoria, Durham recorded her first EP when she was 19 and became world famous as the lead singer of the folk music group The Seekers which sold more than 50 million records.

Durham is said to have died in hospital on Friday evening of an unknown illness.

As part of The Seekers, Durham was one of the first Australian artists to achieve international success, with songs such as Georgy Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You and The Carnival Is Over.

The Seekers – consisting of Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger in addition to Durham – moved to the UK in 1964, having been formed in 1962.

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After recording I’ll Never Find Another You at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, The Seekers went to number one on the UK and Australian charts.

On their return to Australia in 1967, The Seekers set an Australian record when a crowd of over 200,000 watched their performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

They were later named Joint Australians of the Year for 1967.

But just over a year later, Durham stunned the music world by leaving the group at the height of its success to pursue a solo career.

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Over the past three decades, The Seekers played a series of comeback concerts and recorded three new albums with Durham as lead vocalist.

In 1995 they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and in 2011, I’ll Never Find Another You was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Sounds of Australia registry.

In 2013, during The Seekers’ Golden Jubilee tour, Durham suffered a stroke, which affected her ability to read and write without compromising her singing skills.

Members of The Seekers, including Durham, were honored as Officers of the Order of Australia in 2014.

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