Renee Geyer dead, cause of death: Australian music legend passes away aged 69

Australian music legend Renee Geyer has passed away at the age of 69, her family has confirmed.

The soul singer – who shot to fame in the 1970s with her iconic husky vocals – died from complications following hip surgery.

Geyer’s family confirmed her death in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, which was released by The Mushroom Group.

“It is with immense sadness that we announce that Renée Geyer has passed away from complications following hip surgery. While in hospital, it was discovered that Renée also had inoperable lung cancer. She was in no pain and died peacefully among family and friends. Naturally, we are all utterly devastated,” the statement read.

Her family added Geyer had been “looking forward” to another busy year of performing.

“Just last month, Renée sang to a full house and was looking forward to another busy year ahead doing what she loved most – performing for her loyal fans around the country,” the statement continued.

“Renée lived her life as she performed – on her own terms and to the fullest. Beloved and respected, she was a force of nature and a national treasure, and her passing leaves a giant void in the Australian music industry.”

Geyer performed with jazz-rock group Sun in the early 1970s before launching a solo career in 1973.

Her highest-charting single, Heading in the Right Direction, was released two years later, in 1975.

Across her impressive decades-long career, Geyer worked with many other high-profile artists including Sting, Joe Cocker and Chaka Khan.

Geyer was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2013 she became the first woman to be inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame.

In 2018, she received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women in Music Awards.

Just last year, the music icon spoke of how “lucky” she felt for her lengthy career.

“I’m getting paid to do what I really like to do, and have been for over 50 years, so how lucky am I?,” she said, according to ABC News.

Her life in the spotlight also saw Geyer experience difficult times.

In her 2000 autobiography, Confessions of a Difficult Woman, Geyer openly detailed struggles with a previous drug addiction, revealing she suffered three near-fatal drug overdoses.

“I’ve died three times,” she wrote in the book. “Overdosed … heart stopped beating … blue in the face for 20 minutes … had to be revived. That kind of dead.”

She also opened up about having six abortions and a lengthy battle with depression.

In 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Her career also came with its controversies.

In 2010, she crashed her car through the window of an optometrist’s store in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Elwood, later telling the Sydney Morning Herald that she had been affected by medication she was taking as part of her cancer treatment.

In 2017, Geyer received a good behaviour bond after a 2015 incident at a hotel where she allegedly used racist language towards a receptionist.

Originally published as Australian music legend Renee Geyer dead at 69

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