MELBOURNE (CelebrityAccess) — Sting, Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and Bruce Springsteen were among the music luminaries who paid tribute to the late Australian concert industry legend Michael Gudinski at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night.
Gudinski, who co-founded Australia’s Mushroom Groop, and served as CEO of the Mushroom group of related companies, died in his sleep earlier this month at the age of 68.
During his career, which spanned decades, he became a key figure in the Australian music scene, bringing some of the biggest international artists to perform in the South Pacific nation.
Sheeran, who traveled to Australia specifically for the tribute, detailed feeling nervous about first meeting with Gudinski, who Sheeran’s manager told him was a major figure in music. However, Sheeran found himself to be quickly disarmed by Gudinski’s natural charm.
“It was just a tornado of joy everywhere he went,” said Sheeran. “He just lifted the room and then f–ed off.”
For the memorial concert, Sheeran performed a trio of songs, including “Visting Hours” which brought him to tears on stage.
Sheeran also performed a duet with Kylie Minogue, who detailed her own experiences with Gudinski.
“The big G took this little scrawny girl from Melbourne to the world and back home again. He made me feel – all five foot and a whisper of me. He made me feel like I was at least five foot five … he made me feel a hundred feet tall,” she told the audience.
Other performers for the night included Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes who performed a trio of songs in honor of Gudinski, including a new song “Flesh and Blood,” followed by “Little Light.” Barnies was then joined by Australian artists Diesel, Mahalia and Jimmy’s granddaughter who joined him on stage for a rendition of Cold Chisel’s “When the War Is Over.”
With travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, many artists offered pre-recorded tributes to Gudinski, including Sting, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, and Taylor Swift, among others.
Victoria’s Governor Linda Dessau, TV personality Carrie Bickmore, actor Shane Jacobson and Rabbi Menachem Wolf were also on hand to pay tribute to the late music legend.
Gudinski’s son Matt and daughter Kate shared an emotional tribute of their own.
“I’m very proud to stand here this evening and call Michael Gudinski my father,” Matt Gudinski told the audience. “There will never be another one like him.”