Stars come out to farewell music icon Michael Gudinski

 

Michael Gudinski's status as the Godfather of Australian music has been cemented at a funeral that resembled an ARIA Awards night.

The industry icon was farewelled in Melbourne at a private funeral for family and friends today, with his State Memorial to be held at Rod Laver Arena on March 24.

Gudinski's impact on all levels of society was reflected in a guest list that included Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Molly Meldrum, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, John Farnham, Vance Joy, Missy Higgins, Daryl Braithwaite, James Reyne, Archie Roach, David Campbell, Renee Geyer, Diesel, Richard Wilkins, Andy Lee, Jon Stevens, Sam Neill, Vika and Linda Bull, Ross Wilson, Eddie McGuire, Glenn Wheatley and Shane Warne.

Most of the musical artists had close, and often longstanding, links to Gudinski through either Mushroom Records or his other labels, as well as his touring company Frontier.

Dannii and Kylie Minogue arrive to farewell their friend. Picture: Alex Coppel
Dannii and Kylie Minogue arrive to farewell their friend. Picture: Alex Coppel

 

Gudinski signed Minogue in 1986 to Mushroom, launching her musical career with the No. 1 hit Locomotion. He signed Dannii Minogue to the label four years later, scoring an international hit with Love and Kisses. The Minogue family have remained incredibly close to the Gudinski family for decades.

Last week Kylie Minogue told News Corp "Gudinski was like a tidal wave and a kitten hug at the same time. He was a force of nature but at the heart of it all, was his family. His passion and tenacity is well known but those of us close to him knew he was an absolute softie at heart. Generous, loyal, sentimental and always, always entertaining. He truly is a legend and his spirit and legacy will forever be in every Australian musical beat."

Richard Wilkins arrive with other guests. Picture: Alex Coppel
Richard Wilkins arrive with other guests. Picture: Alex Coppel

Dannii Minogue told News Corp: "I can't count the amount of times we've spent together backstage and in the audience at Michael's music events. You could always feel the wave of love throughout the crowd and backstage. That's what Michael brought to the music world and that will never be forgotten. Everything about the foundation of the Australian music industry leads back to Michael Gudinski."

Jimmy Barnes and Diesel. Picture: Alex Coppel
Jimmy Barnes and Diesel. Picture: Alex Coppel

 

Michael Gudinski’s friend Molly Meldrum. Picture: Twitter/Seven
Michael Gudinski’s friend Molly Meldrum. Picture: Twitter/Seven

While Gudinski's friend Daniel Andrews was a late scratching after being in hospital, other guests included Labor politician Martin Pakula, business leaders Gerry Ryan, Lindsay Fox and Eloise Pratt as well as Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and AFL boss Gil McLachlan.

Gudinski's long-time business partner Michael Chugg was one of many friends who came from Sydney for the event.

The funeral had a reduced capacity due to COVID restrictions.

Details on the public State Memorial, which will take place on the evening of March 24, are expected to be announced later this week.

 

Actor Sam Neill. Picture: Alex Coppel
Actor Sam Neill. Picture: Alex Coppel

 

Brian Mannix. Picture: Alex Coppel
Brian Mannix. Picture: Alex Coppel

Street posters have surfaced across Australia in the past week, paying tribute to Gudinski, whose legacy includes starting the Mushroom record label and the Frontier touring company, which toured everyone from Frank Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen to Ed Sheeran.

In the last year as COVID saw live music shut down, Gudinski launched online show The State of Music as well as the ABC series The Sound, which featured artists across all genres and generations.

Gudinski was believed to be working on a sequel to last year's Anzac Day concert Music From the Home Front to take place in 2021.

Originally published as Stars come out to farewell music icon Michael Gudinski

Kylie Minogue embraces with another mourner. Picture: Alex Coppel
Kylie Minogue embraces with another mourner. Picture: Alex Coppel
Eddie Maguire. Picture: Alex Coppel
Eddie Maguire. Picture: Alex Coppel
Shane Warne. Picture: Alex Coppel
Shane Warne. Picture: Alex Coppel

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