Michael Gudinski, Aussie music promoter, dies aged 68

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski has died aged 68.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford confirmed the sad news on The Morning Show, saying he had been told Gudinski had suffered a bad fall.

ustralian music promoter Michael Gudinski has died aged 68. The music entrepreneur signed artists such as Kylie Minogue, Eskimo Joe and Skyhooks. Photo: Getty
Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski has died aged 68. The music entrepreneur signed artists such as Kylie Minogue, Eskimo Joe and Skyhooks. Photo: Getty

"About an hour ago I got a call saying that he had a bad fall at home, but then I wasn’t told that he had actually passed," he said. "They wanted to wait until everything was crossed and ticked before they put out the official statement.

"It is now confirmed to me by the family that Michael has passed," he said

Gudinski is well known for creating the hugely successful record company Mushroom Records in 1972.

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The label shared their own tribute in a statement shared with Yahoo Lifestyle that read, "It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Gudinski AM overnight. The much-loved Australian music legend died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne, Australia.

"Michael Gudinski was a key figure in shaping the Australian music industry. He founded the Mushroom Group in 1972 at just 20 years old, which flourished into 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. His touring company Frontier Touring is Australia’s leading promoter, touring the biggest names in global music since its inception in 1979."

Mushroom Records said in a statement Michael was known for
Mushroom Records said in a statement Michael was known for "his loyalty and dedication" and "his ability to achieve the unachievable against unsurmountable odds". Photo: Getty

They continued, "A larger-than-life figure, Michael was widely respected for his unwavering passion for all music – in particular Australian music. Most recently, with the music industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael conceptualised and developed Music From The Home Front, The Sound and The State Of Music, platforms designed to showcase and support contemporary Australian music in an incredibly difficult time. It speaks to the man he was that of his countless illustrious career achievements these projects, that supported the industry he loved, were ones he was particularly proud of."

They added that Michael was known for "his loyalty and dedication" and "his ability to achieve the unachievable against unsurmountable odds".

"Michael’s family loved him immensely and Michael in turn adored his wife Sue, son Matt and partner Cara, daughter Kate and husband Andrew and their children Nina-Rose and Lulu. They meant everything to him, and he was immensely proud of them. Michael often referred to his 200+ staff as the Mushroom Family, with many having clocked decades in his employment.

Michael's touring company Frontier Touring is Australia’s leading promoter and has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Ed Sheeran (pictured). Photo: Getty
Michael's touring company Frontier Touring is Australia’s leading promoter and has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Ed Sheeran (pictured). Photo: Getty

"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.

"The family respectfully ask for privacy in this incredibly difficult time and thank everyone for their support."

Gudinski famously launched Kylie Minogue's music career, signing her to Mushroom and releasing Locomotion in 1987, which was the highest-selling Australian single of the decade.

Last year, Gudinski pulled together the Music From the Home Front TV concert in just nine days with artists such as Jimmy Barnes, Crowded House, James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Kate Ceberano getting involved.

He was also working on another concert for Anzac Day this year.

Gudinski was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006.

Members of the Australian entertainment industry shared their tributes for Michael. Photo: Twitter
Members of the Australian entertainment industry shared their tributes for Michael. Photo: Twitter

Members of the Australian entertainment industry have shared their own tributes for Michael with David Campbell writing, "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."

Joel Creasey wrote, "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."

Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald added, "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."

Russell Crowe wrote, "RIP Michael Gudinski. Seems almost impossible. A towering figure on the Australian cultural landscape.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."

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