Entertainment: The Seekers hitmaker Judith Durham dies aged 79 after chronic illness

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Judith has died aged 79 (Picture: Getty/REX) © Provided by Metro Judith has died aged 79 (Picture: Getty/REX)

Australian singer Judith Durham, best known as the lead vocalist of band The Seekers, has died at the age of 79.

The music legend died on Friday night following complications from chronic lung disease, her manager Graham Simpson confirmed to Noise11.com.

Australian luminaries, including the prime minister Anthony Albanese, have paid tribute to the singing sensation.

Describing Judith as a ‘national treasure and an Australian icon,’ Albanese wrote on Twitter: ‘Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists.

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‘Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten.’

Judith soared to fame in the 1960s as a member of the folk/pop quartet The Seekers, where she was on vocals, piano and tambourine.

The trailblazing group scored a slew of top 10 hits with songs such as A World of Our Own and Morningtown Ride.

Judith was in chart-topping band The Seekers (Picture: REX/Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro Judith was in chart-topping band The Seekers (Picture: REX/Shutterstock) The Seekers achieved hit songs in Australia, the UK and the US (Picture: Redferns) © Provided by Metro The Seekers achieved hit songs in Australia, the UK and the US (Picture: Redferns)

With single I’ll Never Find Another You, The Seekers enjoyed global success, reaching number one in the UK, where it was the seventh best-selling track for 1965, and number four in the US.

In fact, the four-piece were the first Aussie band to have had a top five hit in their home country, the UK and the United States and have now sold over 50million records worldwide.

The Seekers star Judith Durham dies aged 79

  The Seekers star Judith Durham dies aged 79 Durham made her first recording at 19 and rose to fame after joining The Seekers in 1963. The group of four became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the UK and the United States, eventually selling 50 million records. © Provided by PA Media Australian band The Seekers – left to right, Keith Potger, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Judith Durham – at the Savoy hotel in London in 1965 (PA) International hits included The Carnival Is Over, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World Of Our Own and Georgy Girl.

Judith enjoyed a successful solo career (Picture: Fremantle Media/REX/Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro Judith enjoyed a successful solo career (Picture: Fremantle Media/REX/Shutterstock) Judith was an Australian icon (Pictures: Martin Philbey/Redferns) © Provided by Metro Judith was an Australian icon (Pictures: Martin Philbey/Redferns)

After enjoying record-breaking international success, Judith parted ways with The Seekers to pursue a solo career.

She recorded multiple albums including Mona Lisas and Let Me Find Love until 2013, when she released her final LP, It’s Christmas Time.

Tributes have been pouring in for Judith (Picture: Redferns) © Provided by Metro Tributes have been pouring in for Judith (Picture: Redferns)

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Judith was born on July 3, 1943 in Victoria, Australia, to a navigator father and his wife, Hazel.

During her childhood, she lived in Tasmania and Melbourne, where she started her singing career in jazz clubs at the age of 18.

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