Icon of Australian Jazz and Soul Renée Geyer is well-known for her songs, such as It’s a Man’s World and Say I Love You. He was 69 years old.
The singer was in a hospital in Geelong for hip surgery, but complications after the surgery caused her to die, according to a statement from her record label, The Mushroom Group, on Tuesday. She was also told she had lung cancer that could not be treated while she was in the hospital.
Her label said that Geyer died peacefully in the company of family and friends.
“Just last month, Renée sang to a full house, and she was looking forward to another busy year doing what she loved most: performing for her loyal fans all over the country,” the statement said.
Renée lived her life the way she wanted to: on her own terms and to the fullest. She was a force of nature and a national treasure. She was loved and respected, and her death has left a huge hole in the Australian music industry.
In a tribute on Twitter, singer Marcia Hines described her as “a game changer.” A soul diva My Sister in Song,” and whose voice was “one of the best I’ve ever heard.”
Renée Geyer. A game changer. A soul diva. My sister in song.
Heart felt 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. pic.twitter.com/MdWwHaozO2
— Marcia Hines (@TheMarciaHines) January 17, 2023
Paul Grabowsky, an Australian pianist and composer, said that she was “Australia’s own Queen of Soul.”
Australia’s own Queen of Soul. A truly incredible singer has left us. My love to her friends, colleagues and many fans. Rest in peace Renee Geyer. pic.twitter.com/OcZXXWsMjW
— paul grabowsky (@paulgrab) January 17, 2023
Renée said that she was “a white Hungarian Jew from Australia who sounds like a black man from Alabama who is 65 years old.” In the 1970s, when she was in her teens, she started singing in Sydney.
Her career would last for another 50 years, and she would work with and perform with artists from all over the world, such as Sting, Chaka Khan, Neil Diamond, and Bonnie Raitt.
By the end of the 1970s, she had four studio albums, including her first international release, Moving Along, which came out in 1977. It was made by Motown’s Frank Wilson, and Ray Parker Jr. and James Jamerson both played on it.
Cash Box, a magazine for the U.S. music business, praised Moving Along for Geyer’s “dynamic interpretive qualities,” adding that “she seems poised and ready for the Yanks to give her a listen.”
Black radio stations in the US liked Tracks at first because they thought Geyer was a black woman. However, Geyer insisted that her face stay on the album cover, so the stations stopped playing her music.
Geyer was nominated for an Aria Award many times but never won. In 2005, she was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame, and in 2013, she was inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame. At the 2018 Australian Women in Music Awards, she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.
She famously slapped interviewer Molly Meldrum in the face while live on Countdown, and she was always honest about her struggles with heroin addiction in the 1970s and 1980s.
Geyer didn’t get in trouble with the law when she drove her car into a shop window in Melbourne in 2010. She admitted guilt in 2015 to a charge of intimidating with the intent to cause fear after an argument with a hotel receptionist in Sydney. She was never married and never had kids.
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