R.I.P Mr. Yunupingu

(17 September 1956 – 2 June 2013)

The ARIA community would like to express its sadness at the passing of musician, songwriter, activist and teacher Mr. Yunupingu at the age of 56.

Mr. Yunupingu co-founded Yothu Yindi in the Yolngu homelands of Arnhem Land in 1986. He was the group’s lead singer and also played guitar. Yothu Yindi first came to prominence locally and internationally with the track Treaty (No.11 Sept. ’91) and the corresponding album Tribal Voice (No.4 Jun. ’91). The group are also known for the tracks Djapana (No.13 May ’92), Tribal Voice (No.51 Sept. ’92) and World Turning (No.56 Nov. ’93).

Mr. Yunupingu became the first Indigenous person from Arnhem Land to earn a university degree when he gained a Bachelor Of Arts degree from Deakin University in 1988. In 1990 he became the first Indigenous principal in Australia when he became principal of the Yirrkala Community School. He was named Australian Of The Year for 1992.

Yothu Yindi won eight ARIA Awards and were inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2012.

Our sincere condolences go to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Yunupingu.


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