The Australian music legend Renee Geyer has passed away at the age of 69 following complications from hip surgery at the University Hospital Geelong where she was being treated. She was also diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the hospital.
The soul/R&B singer shot to fame in the 1970s with her iconic husky voice and shining personality.
Renée made her last performance just a month ago in front of a crowd and the Melbourne-born singer’s record label, The Mushroom Group, confirmed the sad news on Tuesday following her passing.
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According to the statement by the label, Renée sand to a full house and is optimistic for the days ahead and performing for her fans around the country. She is one of the most decorated singers in contemporary music and her voice has a unique influence on singers to this day.
She leaves behind a rich legacy with a career spanning over five decades and an indomitable spirit.
Renée was inducted into the ARIA hall of fame in 2005; and in 2013, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame.
She was the recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women in Music Awards in 2018.
Renée lived her life on her own terms and to the fullest, according to the statement by Mushroom Group. She was beloved and respected and was a force of nature who leaves a giant void in the Australian Music industry with her passing.
Her hits including “It’s a Man’s Man’s Word”, “Heading in the Right Direction”, “Stares and Whispers”, and “Say I Love You”, brought her international fame and shot her to stardom in the 1970s and 80s.
Growing up she was always confident of her singing talent and her favorite artists at the time were the Beatles. She once said in an interview with Kerry Ann Kennerly that she dreamed of being a long-haired singer since she was little.
Renée Geyer began her singing career during her teenage years in Sydney in the 1970s. By the end of the 1970s, she had four studio albums to her name including “Moving Along” which was produced by Motown’s Frank Wilson of the Supremes, and Marvin Gaye’s “Fame” which was released in the US.
Cash Box magazine praised her album “Moving Along” for her dynamic interpretive qualities.
She collaborated with international artists including Sting, Chaka Khan, Neil Diamond, and Bonnie Rait during her 5-decade long career.
A 2013 poll ranked Renée Geyer as Australia’s 7th best voice of all time.
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Her career also came with controversies as Geyer was known for her uncompromising and bold character with the tendency of speaking her mind. Her studio album “Difficult Woman” was a representative tribute to her said reputation in 1994.
She was always frank about her struggles with heroin addiction in the 1970s and 1980s. In her 2000 memoir “Confessions of a Difficult Woman” she shares her experience of being resuscitated three times after overdosing and undergoing several abortions.
She claims she was not responsible enough to raise a child at the time and that she had no qualms about doing it then.
Geyer crashed her car through the window of an optometrist’s store in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Elwood in 2010.
She later told the Sydney Morning Herald that she had been affected by medications she was taking as part of her breast cancer treatment.
In 2017, Geyer received a good behavior bond after a 2015 incident at a hotel where she pleaded guilty to a charge of intimidating with intent to cause fear over a confrontation with a Sydney hotel receptionist who alleged that she used racist language towards her.