Saturday, April 20, 2024

NZ music icon loses cancer battle

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has acknowledged the passing of kiwi recording artist, Margaret Urlich, who has died of cancer aged 57.

The acclaimed vocalist died at her home in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia, yesterday after a two-year battle with the disease.

“It is with great sadness that I heard of Margaret Urlich’s passing yesterday,” said Minister Sepuloni.

“Yesterday we lost a star of Aotearoa music. Margaret was one of New Zealand’s most successful recording artists, selling over 400,000 albums over her career, and is someone I grew up listening to.

“I’m pleased that her successful career was recognised in 2020 when she was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.

“The gap Margaret leaves is momentous. She dedicated her life to recording music, collaborating with others, and producing tunes that we will long listen to.

“My thoughts are with all those who knew or worked with Margaret and the New Zealand music industry, but most of all my thoughts are with those who were closest with Margaret – her whānau and friends. Her legacy will live on,” Ms Sepuloni said.

Ms Urlich’s career began as a co-lead vocalist with Kiwi band, Peking Man before she joined the all-female vocal group, When The Cat’s Away.

The band was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2021. 

She went on to launch a solo career, finding fame here and across the ditch with her debut album, Safety in Numbers, earning an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) award for Best Breakthrough Artist in 1991.

She was also the first female solo artist to top the New Zealand music charts.

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