Australia

Australian indigenous singer Dr G Yunupingu dies

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Media captionYunupingu was the highest-selling Australian indigenous artist ever

One of Australia's leading Aboriginal musicians, Dr G Yunupingu, has died at the age of 46.

The singer, born blind in the Northern Territory, became the highest-selling Australian indigenous artist ever.

He died at Royal Darwin Hospital on Tuesday after enduring "a long battle with illness", his record label said in a statement.

A former member of Yothu Yindi, his 2008 solo album sold well in several countries.

Obituary: An exquisite singer who 'spoke to the soul'

Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett has led tributes on social media, calling Yunupingu "a truly great musician".

"Very sad news. Too young, so much left to give. Heart goes out to family," Garrett said on Twitter.

Yunupingu's family asked media outlets not to use pictures of him after his death in accordance with indigenous traditions.

'The Australian voice of a generation'

Yunupingu's record label, Skinnyfish Music, said he was "one of the most important figures in Australian music history".

"His debut album cemented him as the Australian voice of a generation, hitting triple platinum in Australia, silver in the UK and charting in multiple other countries across the globe," the statement said.

The singer's label also praised the artist for creating opportunities for young people in the Northern Territory.

Image caption Dr G Yunupingu played a prominent role in the Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012

"His legacy as a musician and community leader will continue as his life's work continues its positive impact on Elcho Island, The Northern Territory, Australia and the world."

The singer had ongoing liver and kidney issues for some time, which had forced him to cancel a European tour.

The musician, who sang in English and in his native Yolngu language, performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in London in 2012.


Why does our story have no pictures of Yunupingu?

To respect tradition the BBC along with many other media outlets adheres to long-standing cultural protocol not to publish a picture or the name of the indigenous person who died.

While the naming taboo differs across different indigenous communities, there's a general belief that doing so would jeopardise the spirit on its journey to the afterlife.

Speaking the name of a dead person is thought by indigenous people to potentially undermine that journey, calling the departed spirit back to world of the living.

This restraint is customary for the entire mourning period - depending on local practice, that can last for weeks, months or years.

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