Michael Gudinski, Mushroom Group founder and Australian music industry pioneer, has died aged 68

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Michael Gudinski, Mushroom Group founder and Australian music industry pioneer, has died aged 68

Words by Will Brewster

The recording industry entrepreneur passed away in his sleep.

Michael Gudinski, one of the most important men in the development of the Australian music industry, has passed away overnight at the age of 68.

Gudinski, who founded Mushroom Group at the age of 20 in 1972, would go on to become the driving force behind a number of important publishing, touring and production companies throughout the 20th and 21st century, including Mushroom Records, Frontier Touring, Harbour Agency and more.

Renowned around the world for his passionate attitude towards cultivating homegrown talent and putting Australian acts on the world stage, Gudinski played an integral role in shaping the careers of artists such as Kylie Minogue, Skyhooks, Split Enz and Jimmy Barnes, with many of Australia’s most iconic albums being released under his eye.

In June 2006, Gudinski was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for his contributions to the Australian music industry, and was inducted into Music Victoria’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Just last year, Gudinski took the front foot in the Australian music industry’s response to COVID-19, developing programs and events such as Music From The Home Front, The Sound and The State of Music to continue supporting the industry throughout its darkest days.

‘Michael was renowned for his loyalty and dedication.  His ability to achieve the unachievable against unsurmountable odds was proven time and again and spoke to his absolute passion for his career and life,’ a statement from Mushroom Group reads today.

‘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 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.’

Vale, Gudinski – we’re forever indebted to your work.