'Heart of Australian music is ripped out'
Leading figures from Australia's arts and entertainment industries are today paying tribute to Michael Gudinski, the larger than life touring promoter who has died suddenly aged 68.
According to a statement from the Mushroom Group, Gudinski "died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne".
Gudinski is survived by his wife, Sue, and their children Matt and Kate and two grandchildren.
He also leaves behind a slew of high profile Australian artists who have him to thank for championing their musical efforts over the years.
As news of Gudinski's death spread today, it seemed just about everyone in the Australian entertainment industry had a story to tell about the Mushroom Records founder.
Jimmy Barnes shared his thoughts across several heartfelt tweets.
"Today the heart of Australian music was ripped out. I felt it, my family felt it, the music business felt it, the world felt it. Michael Gudinski was not only that heart but he was my friend," he wrote.
"He stood with me through my darkest moments and my most joyous days. Michael was the rock I reached for when life tried to wash me away. He never closed his door or his heart to me and my family. But I wasn't the only one who felt like Michael was there for me.
He was there for everyone that needed him. The music business turned, grew and moved forward in Australia because of Michael. He was a force of nature, a giant of a man.
His boundless enthusiasm breathed life into our music scene. But that was just one side of Michael. He was a staunch friend, a loving father and grandfather and an adoring husband to Sue.
"Jane Barnes and I are shocked at the loss of our friend but we will try to be strong and keep the music flowing from our hearts. We will stand by his family just like he stood by ours. I loved Michael, always will."
It's one of many tributes to Gudinski today:
RIP Michael Gudinski. Seems almost impossible. A towering figure on the Australian cultural landscape.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) March 2, 2021
I’m not sure we ever agreed on anything, except maybe @edsheeran . Still didn’t stop us from being mates for 30 years. I’m going to miss him deeply. My love to his family.
I am so so saddened to hear that Michael Gudinski has passed away. A giant of the music industry and just a great mate to so many of us. He entered every room and every conversation with energy and passion and am thinking of Sue and his family today who he just loved so much. pic.twitter.com/6euofUo4tU— Carrie Bickmore (@BickmoreCarrie) March 2, 2021
Am shocked by the passing of Michael Gudinski. A giant in the industry whose love, support and promotion of Australian music is unsurpassed. It was always a joy to be in his company. Thoughts are with his family and friends #RIP— lehmo23 (@lehmo23) March 2, 2021
Utterly shocked to hear about the death of Michael Gudinski. Such a character and so full of life. What an extraordinary legacy he leaves. My condolences to his family.— Myf Warhurst (@MyfWarhurst) March 1, 2021
I am devastated by Michael Gudinski’s sudden death. He was a true champion of Australian music and the ABC. This was backstage after the Oils gig in Sydney on Thursday night. Michael was his typical boisterous, funny self. He was always so full of life. Rest In Peace, friend. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/gVpCMeYLpn— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) March 2, 2021
Can’t think of a single person more prolifically passionate and optimistic about Australian music over so long than Michael Gudinski. I’m properly devastated by this.— nic kelly (@nicwkelly) March 1, 2021
We finally caught up face to face last week, I was meant to call ya back today mate. Michael Gudinski, what a powerhouse. Rest easy.— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) March 1, 2021
This is truly devastating news. Not just for the music industry which he built nearly single handedly, but for his family, who he adored. A giant. Michael Gudinski dead aged 68, industry in shock | Herald Sun https://t.co/Z8nOGwFpQf— David Campbell OAM (@DavidCampbell73) March 1, 2021
Sad to hear about the passing of the legendary Michael Gudinski. He was my tour promoter for a brief period and stayed a friend even when I moved elsewhere. Saw him not 3 weeks ago holding court at a restaurant as only he could. A genius ❤️— Joel Creasey (@joelcreasey) March 2, 2021
State Of Music, Music From The Homefront, The Sound on ABC TV (and probably heaps more), Gudinski was everywhere last year, pushing against the pandemic to make live music happen. After such a career, what a way to cement his legacy. RIP Michael Gudinskihttps://t.co/WyJVUsDVYJ— Lindsay McDowens (@doctormcdougall) March 2, 2021
So sad to hear about the death of Michael Gudinski, a brilliant Australian and a trailblazer for the music industry. He was at the AO tennis last week doing what he always did - showing passion an interest for his acts. Sympathy to his family and everyone at Mushroom Group— Luke Dennehy (@LukeDennehy) March 2, 2021
Horrific news to hear of the death of Michael Gudinski. The man who shaped the Australian music industry. The hardest working, generous and most loyal figure you’ll ever meet. Watch over us Michael RIP ❤️— Ryan Fitzgerald (@FitzySA) March 2, 2021
This is tragic. Michael Gudinski brought Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and many others to Australia. Many homegrown bands were given a platform because of him. A legend of the Australian music industry. RIP https://t.co/nUDpFQ5C3q— Evin Priest (@EvinPriest) March 2, 2021
So shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Michael Gudinski . He loved Melbourne and Melbourne loved him. What a legacy he leaves. The music and racing industry just won’t be the same. Much love to his family.— Rebecca Maddern (@RebeccaMaddern9) March 2, 2021
No one did more for Australian music than Michael Gudinski. The word icon somehow doesn’t seem enough. Love to all the Mushroom family. An extremely sad day for music.— Darren Levin (@darren_levin) March 2, 2021
Gudinski founded the Mushroom Group in 1972 at just 20 years old, which went on to become Australia's largest independent entertainment group covering touring, record labels, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production and creative services.
Some of Australia's most iconic albums have been released under one of his Mushroom Group record labels.
"Michael's legacy will live on through his family and the enormously successful Mushroom Group - an enduring embodiment of decades of passion and determination from an incredible man," read a statement released today.
"The family respectfully ask for privacy in this incredibly difficult time and thank everyone for their support."
Originally published as 'Devastated': Industry mourns icon's death