Gurrumul is to be inducted into NIMA’s Hall of Fame

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupinguthe late Indigenous Australian singer, whose rare gifts were described by Quincy Jones as “unbelievable”, will be inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame with a celebration during 2022 National Indigenous Music Awards this Saturday (Aug. 6).


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In the evening, Gurrumul will be remembered with a tribute performed by Saltwater Band member Manuel Dhurrkay.

Blind from birth and raised in the remote Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island, off the coast of Arnhem in the Northern Territory, Yunupingu was recognized as one of Australia’s great talents when he died in 201746 years.

Gurrumul left an indelible mark on Australia’s music landscape. His solo breakthrough came with his 2008 debut album Gurrumulreleased locally by Skinnyfish Music and MGM.

Sung entirely in his native Yolngu, the LP peaked at No.3 on the ARIA Albums Chart following his stellar performance at the 2008 ARIA Awards, where he collected a pair of trophies, for Best World Album and Best Independent Release, adding to his with “Treaty” band Yothu Yindi in 1992.

His follow-up LPs Rrakala and The Gospel Album both peaked at No. 3 in its home country.

A year after his death, Gurrumul made history with Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)which debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart to become the first LP in an indigenous language to lead the national survey. Djarimirri took the Australian Music Award and Gurrumul posthumously won four ARIA Awards, including Best Male Artist.

In the same year, his life and extraordinary talents were explored in a long documentary, Gurrumul.

His posthumous induction sees Gurrumul join former inductees including the Warumpi Band, the late Archie Roach, Kev Carmody and Yothu Yindi, and his work will be further celebrated with an exhibition in Melbourne’s Australian Music Vault from this Friday (August 5), and a special performance tomorrow (August 4) in Darwin of his music.

That NIMAsthe first personal ceremony since 2019will also honor the life of Archie Roach, that passed Saturday (July 30) at 66.

“The NIMAs play an incredibly important role in championing emerging artists and honoring legends in the First Nations music community,” said Adam Manovic, Head of Entertainment, Events and Creative, NITV.

“We are proud to once again support this incredible music event and share the biggest and brightest First Nations talent across Australia with our broadcast.

With four nominations, BARKAA, the Malyangapa and Barkindji woman and rising star, is in the seat, while singer and rapper Baker Boy has three chances, including artist of the year.

Nominees This time includes The Kid Laroi, Jessica Mauboy, Electric Fields, King Stingray, Miiesha, Mo Ju, Emma Donovan & the Putbacks, Birdz, Dallas Woods, Archie Roach and Tasman Keith.

The show will take place at the Darwin Amphitheatre, presented by Amazon Music and broadcast around Australia on NITV, SBS Viceland, NIRS, Facebook and SBS On Demand.

The Northern Territory Government and the Australia Council for the Arts in association with the Darwin Festival are supporters of the annual event.

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