• "He was a musical genius who could do rock, gospel, soul. He could do it all," says friend Vaughn Williams. (YouTube)Source: YouTube
The life of Dr G Yunupingu, one of Australia's most remarkable musicians, was celebrated today at a state memorial service in Darwin.
NITV Staff Writer, Liz Deep-Jones

19 Sep 2017 - 10:20 AM  UPDATED 19 Sep 2017 - 3:52 PM

Popstars, family, friends and politicians came together to remember the life of the Northern Territory's most celebrated and revered artist.

Dr Yunupingu died in July, aged 46, following a long battle with kidney and liver disease.

His music captured the heart of the nation and the rest of the world and most importantly his people.

Actor Rob Collins paid tribute to the musician's inspiring work and his love of his homeland.

"Dr Yunupingu has been an inspiration in my journey with the arts," he told the audience.

"I identify strongly with his deep love of Elcho Island- his home, his pride in his family and with his passion and dedication to the arts.

"There was an integrity in creating his music, the soundscapes in his language, singing of identity and spiritual connections to the land that inspired him. Author Robert Hillman described the impact best saying Dr G's poetry throws open the doors to a pavilion of emotions spanning grief, wonder and the sheer joy of being alive at the fringe of the sea."

Dr Yunupingu was an ARIA award-winning artist who sold more than half a million albums, singing in his native Yolngu language.

Born blind, the musician from Elcho Island, off the coast of Arnhem Land, first gained prominence as a member of the Yothu Yindi band.

He was a multifaceted artist playing the drums, keyboards and guitar but was most celebrated for his extraordinary singing voice.

The memorial service will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre from 10.45am on Tuesday.

Dr G Yunupingu's Uncle, Djunga Djunga Yunupingu, told the memorial his nephew was an artist for all Australians.

"He wasn't fighting for himself he wasn't talking for himself he was talking for all Australians to unite and walk together. To unite!"

"He wasn't talking to his own clan Gumatj, he was talking in his own language telling the world who he was and where he came from. He was bringing people together uniting people, power and participation together."

Dr Yunupingu was also passionate about creating opportunities for young people through his Foundation in the NT.

His legacy continues through his unique music and his commitment to his culture, people and language. 

Friend Vaughan Williams remembered his musical abilities at the time of his death.

"He was a musical genius who could do rock, gospel, soul. He could do it all."