Carrie Bickmore farewells ‘incredibly generous’ music icon

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Carrie Bickmore has delivered a heartfelt speech at the state memorial service for late music icon, Michael Gudinski in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

The host of The Project was visibly emotional when she opened up about how Mushroom Records founder Michael, who passed away in early March aged 68, helped her launch her 'Beanies 4 Brain Cancer' foundation.

Carrie Bickmore paid tribute to late music promoter Michael Gudinski for helping launch a project close to her heart. Photo: Getty Images.
Carrie Bickmore paid tribute to late music promoter Michael Gudinski for helping launch a project close to her heart. Photo: YouTube/mushroomvideos.

Carrie founded the charity after losing her first husband Greg in 2010 following a 10-year battle with brain cancer.

She told the star-studded crowd at Rod Laver Arena how nervous she was to meet with Michael and put forward a bold launch plan for her foundation.

"I remember sitting there with a baby on my lap pitching to Michael how I wanted to launch my foundation with a huge concert featuring Ed Sheeran," she said.

"He had every right to say, 'Great idea, but it's just not possible to get the biggest pop star in the world to attend your brain cancer charity gig'.

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Carrie Bickmore poses in the awards room after winning the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On TV at the 57th Annual Logie Awards at Crown Palladium on May 3, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia
Carrie cradles her 2015 Gold Logie in a Beanies 4 Brain Cancer beanie. Photo: Getty Images.

"But he didn't do that. He saw my passion and he matched it, like he did for so many people."

Carrie went on to recall how, just five short months later, she was at Margaret Court Arena watching Ed Sheeran kick-off what would become an $18 million foundation.

She said she would be forever 'grateful' to Michael, who she called an "incredibly generous and charitable man."

Carrie famously dedicated her 2015 Gold Logie win to Greg and proudly donned a Beanies 4 Brain Cancer beanie to accept her award.

Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran paid a moving musical tribute to late music promoter, Michael Gudinski. Photo: YouTube/mushroomvideos.
Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran paid a moving musical tribute to late music promoter, Michael Gudinski. Photo: YouTube/mushroomvideos.

Kylie and Ed perform

Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran were on hand to pay a moving musical tribute to their good friend Michael. The pair took the stage for a duet of Kylie's 1987 hit "Loco-motion" and later, "All The Lovers".

Aussie queen of pop Kylie told the 15,000-strong crowd that she credits Michael with kick-starting her critically acclaimed music career over three decades ago.

"Michael, the 'Big G', took this little girl from Melbourne to the world, and back home again," the Grammy winner said.

"We love you Gudinski. There will only ever be one. You have our hearts forever."

Michael was also the man behind Ed's record-breaking Australian and New Zealand Tour which sold the most tickets for a single concert tour in 2018.

Ed Sheeran with Promoter Michael Gudinski at Optus Stadium during a media call for the launch of a record-breaking Australian and New Zealand Tour on March 1, 2018 in Perth, Australia
Ed and Michael at a media call for the launch of Ed's record-breaking Australian and New Zealand Tour in 2018. Photo: Getty Images.

Sheeran breaks down during new song

Brit singer Ed, who was granted an exemption to fly into the country earlier this month, kicked off the evening with a rendition of his song "Castle On The Hill", a personal favourite of Michael's.

Ed followed up with "The A Team" and a brand new song, "Visiting Hours" he 'just finished last week' while in quarantine in Byron Bay.

A section of the lyrics read:

"I wish that heaven/ Had visiting hours,

"So I could just swing by/ And ask your advice."

The new dad appeared to be overcome by the poignant tune and broke down halfway through. He recovered and finished the song at which point he left the stage quickly with his hand covering his face.

Kylie and Ed share a hug during their performance. Photo: YouTube/mushroomvideos.
Kylie and Ed share a hug during their performance. Photo: YouTube/mushroomvideos.

Celebs pay tribute

Fellow Mushroom Records acts Jimmy Barnes and Paul Kelly also delivered live performances, while international stars Taylor Swift, Elton John and Sting paid their respects via video messages.

Taylor remembered the 'wonderful times' she'd spent with Michael and Sue throughout their friendship.

"I had spent birthdays with Michael and Sue. They've opened up their home to me. I will never forget the wonderful times in my life that came about because of Michael, because he believed in me."

"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 Gudinski was a godfather figure of the Australian music scene, having founded independent label Mushroom Records in May 1972.

He died suddenly in his sleep on March 2, aged 68.

His memorial at Rod Laver arena was its first music event since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It was also streamed live on YouTube.

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