Celebrated Aboriginal musician Archie Roach has died in hospital at the age of 66 after a long battle with illness.
The death of the elder Gunditjmara-Bundjalung was confirmed in a statement by his sons Amos and Eban Roach, distributed Saturday by the late singer’s management agency, the Mushroom Group.
“We are so proud of everything our father has accomplished in his remarkable life,” the couple said.
“He was a healer and a unifying force. His music brought people together.”
They said their father would like his many fans to know how much he loved them for their support throughout his career.
Mr Roach died at Warrnambool Base Hospital after a long illness, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
“We thank all the staff who have looked after Archie over the past month,” said his sons.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia had lost “a brilliant talent, a powerful and prolific national truth-teller” in a social media post.
“Archie’s music drew from a source of trauma and pain, but it flowed with a beauty and a resonance that moved us all,” said Mr. Albanese.
“We mourn his death, we honor his life and we cling to the hope that his words, his music and his indomitable spirit will live on to guide and inspire us.”
Tonight we mourn the passing of Archie Roach.
Our country has lost a brilliant talent, a powerful and prolific national truth-teller.
— Anthony Albanian (@AlboMP) July 30, 2022
A private ceremony will follow and the family has asked for privacy but gave permission to continue using Mr Roach’s name, image and music so that his legacy will inspire others.
Mr Roach was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2020.
He rose to fame with the release of his debut single Took the kids away in 1990 covering his experience as a member of the stolen generation.
The song earned him ARIA nominations for Breakthrough Artist and an award for Best New Talent at the 1991 awards.
It was added to the National Film and Sound Archive in 2013.
After the death of his wife Ruby in 2010, Archie suffered a stroke and battled other health problems, including lung cancer.