Australian Soul Diva Renee Geyer Passes Away At 69

Australian Soul Diva Renee Geyer Passes Away At 69
Image: Renee Geyer

Australian soul diva and LGBTQI fan favourite  Renee Geyer has died aged 69. 

The Mushroom Group, on behalf of Geyer’s family, in a statement said that the Melbourne-born singer passed away from complications while in hospital for hip surgery. 

“While in the hospital, it was discovered that Renee also had inoperable lung cancer. She was in no pain and died peacefully amongst family and friends. Naturally, we are all utterly devastated,” the statement said. 

“We don’t need to say that Renée was a great singer – everyone knows that, however, it is important to acknowledge Renée’s contribution to the Australian music industry. In particular, she was a trailblazer for women. She was fierce, independent, strong and passionate,” the Mushroom Group added.

‘I Don’t Question Why I Have A Gay Following’

Born in 1953 in Melbourne, Geyer grew up in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She shot to fame in the 1970s with her trademark husky voice and songs including It’s A Man’s Man’s World and Say I Love You. Considered as one of the finest jazz singers in the world, she was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005. 

The LGBTQI community loved Geyer and she returned the love in equal measure. 

“I don’t know why I have a gay following and I don’t question it,” Geyer told Star Observer in 2008

“It’s been like that throughout my career. They love me and sometimes they’re pissed off with me – it’s like a marriage and we’re still together. What I love most about the gay community is that it’s not backward in coming forward – if they don’t like something they let you know.”

Speaking at the release of her 22nd album Dedicated, Geyer had said:  “The community is going to love all of the songs on the new album because they’re about love and they’re beautiful, wicked, naughty and everything at the same time.”

‘A Game Changer’

Tributes flowed for Geyer from fellow singers and fans. 

“Renée Geyer. A game changer. A soul diva. My sister in song,” American-Australian singer Marcia Hines posted on Twitter. “Heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, and to the Australian music industry as a whole who have just lost a person who possessed one of the greatest voices I have ever heard.”

Victoria’s Minister For Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos posted a tribute on social media. “An extraordinary local talent, Renee Geyer will be remembered as an edgy and captivating performer, delivering compelling performances in her own way and on her own terms to become one of the best creative exports our state has known. Her memory will live on through music. Vale,” the out gay MP said.

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