Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran have paid a moving tribute to late music icon, Michael Gudinski, at his state memorial service in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
The pair took the stage at the star-studded Rod Laver Arena event to raise spirits with a duet of Kylie's 1987 hit "Loco-motion" and later, "All The Lovers".
Kylie and Ed perform
Aussie queen of pop Kylie told the 15,000-strong crowd that she credits Mushroom Records founder Michael, who passed away aged 68, 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."
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.
He fondly recalled a funny moment that happened after he played the tune for Michael and wife Sue at their Port Douglas home in 2015.
"He must have misheard the lyric because he started, from that point, screaming whenever he saw me 'we were younger then'," he said.
"I never told him it was actually 'I was younger then'."
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.
Ed and the music executive were good friends, with Gudinski helping the singer break the record for most tickets sold for a single concert tour in 2018.
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.
Bruce Springsteen said Michael was the last of a dying breed of music promoters.
"When you thought of Australia, you thought of Michael," the US rock legend said.
"He was a music man. Michael wasn't just excited about the receipts, he was excited about the show."
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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