One of Australia’s leading Aboriginal musicians, Dr G Yunupingu, has died at the age of 46.
The singer, born blind in the Northern Territory, became the highest-selling Australian indigenous artist ever.
He died at Royal Darwin Hospital on Tuesday after enduring “a long battle with illness”, his record label said in a statement.
A former member of Yothu Yindi, he released a solo album in 2008 which charted in multiple countries.
Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett has led tributes on social media, calling Yunupingu “a truly great musician”.
“Very sad news. Too young, so much left to give. Heart goes out to family,” Garrett said on Twitter.
The Australian voice of a generation
Yunupingu’s record label, Skinnyfish Music, said he was “one of the most important figures in Australian music history”.
“His debut album cemented him as the Australian voice of a generation, hitting triple platinum in Australia, silver in the UK and charting in multiple other countries across the globe,” the statement said.
The singer’s label also praised the artist for creating opportunities for young people in the Northern Territory.
“His legacy as a musician and community leader will continue as his life’s work continues its positive impact on Elcho Island, The Northern Territory, Australia and the world.”
The singer had ongoing liver and kidney issues for some time, which had forced him to cancel a European tour.
The musician, who sang in English and in his native Yolngu language, performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in London in 2012.
Yunupingu’s family asked media outlets not to use pictures of him after his death in accordance with indigenous traditions.