Singer–songwriter Carol Lloyd has died in Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital.
The performer and long-time mentor to young singers had been in the hospital after a long illness. She was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2013.
Her death was confirmed on Monday by her producer and manager Troy Armstrong.
“She was a trailblazer. That 70s rock era was definitely a bloke’s world,” he said.
Queensland Music Festival director Katie Noonan described Lloyd last year as the “mother figure” of the Brisbane music scene.
“She has paved the way for countless women in Brisbane, in Queensland, in Australia and around the world as well,” said Noonan.
“She was the first Australian wild woman of rock and she’s from suburban Brisbane and that’s an amazing story to celebrate.
“She smashed down the walls and paved the way for women like myself.”
Through Lloyd’s career she was associated with Railroad Gin and later her own band. She toured with bands including AC/DC, Suzi Quatro, Billy Thorpe, Skyhooks, Daddy Cool, and the Little River Band.
In September last year, Lloyd was featured in a photographic essay book by Queensland College of Art photography lecturer Heather Faulkner, telling her story as a gay woman in Queensland during the conservative Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen years.
“I never felt it was necessary to make any statement,” the singer said. “It was pretty obvious what I was.
“I was a sweaty, in-your-face rock singer, singing about taking women to bed. I came out wearing sequins on my nipples and not much else, with a fur cape.”
Faulkner said Lloyd was a true heroine.
“She was a champion of lesbian and gay rights since she first started singing, and it was her voice that sang for everyone in Queensland who found themselves on the outside of the narrow conventions of Queensland society in the Joh era,” she said.
Lloyd described the gay community of 1970s Brisbane as “a family”. She spoke of the 379 Club in George Street, where the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) group began.
“We looked after each other. We liked each other. It was a place where you could party, where you could safely bring new people into the scene,” she said.
In a media release, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed her sadness at Lloyd’s passing.
The government will be supporting the Carol Lloyd Award, which will be presented to an emerging female singer–songwriter from Queensland. The inaugural winner will be announced at Queensland Music Festival launch this year.