Australian music and record company icon Michael Gudinski has died unexpectantly, aged 68.

Gudinski was best known for forming Mushroom Records in 1972, aged just 20, which became Australia’s largest independent entertainment group covering touring, record labels, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production.

An official release from Mushroom said that Mr Gudinski died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne.

“A larger-than-life figure, Michael was widely respected for his unwavering passion for all music – in particular Australian music,” it read.

“Most recently, with the music industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael conceptualised and developed Music From The Home Front, The Sound and The State Of Music, platforms designed to showcase and support contemporary Australian music in an incredibly difficult time.

“It speaks to the man he was that of his countless illustrious career achievements these projects, that supported the industry he loved, were ones he was particularly proud of.

“Michael was renowned for his loyalty and dedication.  His ability to achieve the unachievable against unsurmountable odds was proven time and again and spoke to his absolute passion for his career and life.

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“Michael’s family loved him immensely and Michael in turn adored his wife Sue, son Matt and partner Cara, daughter Kate and husband Andrew and their children Nina-Rose and Lulu.  They meant everything to him, and he was immensely proud of them.  Michael often referred to his 200+ staff as the Mushroom Family, with many having clocked decades in his employment.

“Michael’s legacy will live on through his family and the enormously successful Mushroom Group – an enduring embodiment of decades of passion and determination from an incredible man.

“The family respectfully ask for privacy in this incredibly difficult time and thank everyone for their support.”

Vale.