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Music icons memorialise Michael Gudinski



  • Taylor Swift, Billie Joel and Elton John were among a raft of stars to lead tributes at the state memorial for Australian music industry titan Michael Gudinski.
  • MELBOURNE, AAP - The who's who of the international music scene have paid tribute to Australian industry great Michael Gudinski at his state memorial service.The singer and songwriter opened with Castle On The Hill, saying it became a personal favourite of the Mushroom Records founder after playing it for him and wife Sue at their Port Douglas home in 2015."I never told him it was actually 'I was younger then'."Before raising spirits with a Sheeran-aided duet of her 1987 hit "Loco-motion", the Aussie queen of pop credited Mr Gudinski with kick-starting her critically acclaimed music career.Taylor Swift, Billie Joel, Elton John and Sting were just some of the international mega-stars to post video tributes aired on the night.Bruce Springsteen said Mr Gudinski was the last of a dying breed of music promoters."He was a music man. Michael wasn't just excited about the receipts, he was excited about the show."In-person speakers on the night included Victorian Governor Linda Dessau, rabbi Menachem Wolf, and Mr Gudinski's two children Matt and Kate."There was only one Michael Gudinski and they'll never be another one like him."He died suddenly in his sleep on March 2, aged 68.
  • Mr Gudinski was a godfather figure of the Australian music scene, having founded independent label Mushroom Records in May 1972.
  • "He was full of life and some would say he lived 10 lives in one," Matt Gudinski said.
  • The 15,000-seat arena was packed for its first music event since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with those who missed out on tickets tuning in online.
  • "When you thought of Australia, you thought of Michael," the US rock legend said.
  • "We will cherish his memory. Shine on you crazy man," said Sir Elton, who trusted Mr Gudinski to oversee his final Australian tour last year.
  • "Michael, the 'Big G', took this little girl from Melbourne to the world, and back home again," Ms Minogue said.
  • Alongside Sheeran, there were live performances by Mushroom associated local acts Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly, Mark Seymour, Vika and Linda Bull and Mia Wray.
  • "He must have misheard the lyric because he started, from that point, screaming whenever he saw me 'we were younger then'," Sheeran recalled.
  • British music star Ed Sheeran, who was granted an exemption to fly into the country with his family, headlined a star-studded cast of live performers for Wednesday night's send-off at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.