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Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz

Helen 18 Feb 10 - 12:17 AM
freda underhill 18 Feb 10 - 05:34 AM
Helen 19 Feb 10 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 19 Feb 10 - 08:05 PM
katlaughing 19 Feb 10 - 09:19 PM
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Subject: Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 12:17 AM

I've copied and pasted the whole news article. It says all I want to say, at the moment.

Singer Ruby Hunter dies
Aboriginal singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter with her husband Archie Roach

Ruby Hunter met her musical soul mate Archie Roach when she was 16. (ABC)

Pioneering Aboriginal singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter has died.

A Ngarrindjeri woman, Hunter was born in 1955 near the banks of the Murray River in South Australia.

She was a member of the Stolen Generations, having been forcibly removed from her family at the age of eight.

Hunter met her lifelong partner and musical soul mate Archie Roach when she was 16. Both were homeless teenagers at the time.

Roach and Hunter have been described as a singing/songwriting team of extraordinary spirit.

Their music took them around the world. They have sung alongside musical greats Tracy Chapman, Paul Kelly and Bob Dylan.

Hunter was the first Indigenous woman to be signed to a major record label.

In an interview with the ABC's Talking Heads in 2008, she revealed her proudest moment was when she released her first album, Thoughts Within, in 1994.

"I asked one of my brothers to name this album. He came back, I said: 'So what do you think, brother?' He said: 'Oh, you know what sister? I never knew you had those thoughts within'," she said.

In her lifetime, Hunter was nominated for two ARIA Awards - best Indigenous release and best blues and roots album.

'A great Australian'

In 2004, Roach and Hunter collaborated with Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra to produce Ruby's Story - a musical documenting Hunter's own life and search for identity.

The production won the Deadly Award for excellence in film and theatrical score.

Hunter also won a Deadly in 2000 for female artist of the year and in 2003 for outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music.

"The thing about Ruby is, you can look at her life and say that she's done something amazing," said Ann Moir from the Art Australia Orchestra.

"I think she's going be really sadly missed," she added.

Grabowsky says Hunter is irreplaceable.

"She was an extraordinary artist, an extraordinary woman, a great leader and a great example to all of us who knew her. People like her are irreplaceable," he said.

"I don't use the phrase 'a great Australian' that often, but I have absolutely no hesitation in applying it to Ruby Hunter."

He added: "There is no sound like the voice of Ruby Hunter. It really is the sound of our first peoples, a sound that really evokes a sense of country."


Manager Jill Shelton said Hunter died overnight at home in Victoria's western district. She reportedly suffered a heart attack.

"She's a mother and a grandmother and a sister - she's all those things," said Bart Willoughby, a spokesman for her family.

"A beautiful woman... And she was very, very strong.

"She always believed in Aboriginal culture. As a woman [she was] very uplifting for other Aboriginal women."

Mr Willoughby says Hunter's death will have a big impact.

"To the community, they lost a hero; she's our hero. Ruby was a natural-born hero," he said.

"She was born from this country. She was the heart and soul of it all.

"Archie's lost a soulmate," he added.

Federal Arts Minister Peter Garrett has expressed his condolences to Hunter's partner Roach, their children and extended family.

"Ruby Hunter was a great Ngarrindjeri woman, a great songwriter and performer, someone who played an absolutely critical role in Indigenous music and performing in Australia," he said.

"[She] will be sorely missed by her many fans and those who recognise the great contribution that she made."

In a statement, the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service described Hunter as an inspiration to female Indigenous performing artists around the world.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz
From: freda underhill
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 05:34 AM

Here's some more information about Ruby, a beautiful and talented woman who has shocked us all by leaving too soon.

I saw Ruby and her life partner Archie Roach perform last month, in their band, The Black Arm Band. It was a wonderful night, one which sadly now can't be repeated.

youtube: Ruby Hunter singing Let My Children Be

'Kura Tungar', Australian Art Orchestra with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, 2006

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Subject: RE: Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 01:58 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 08:05 PM

Archie Roach CD, featuring Ruby Hunter

Took the Children Away is a song about the Aboriginal Stolen Generations, and in my opinion, it is the best song I have heard.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Ruby Hunter, singer-songwriter, Oz
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 09:19 PM

Thanks for refreshing this, Helen. I had missed it. There are a couple of youtube videos of Archie Roach singing Take the Children Away, with a trailer from Rabbit Proof Fence. That is an incredible film.

My condolences to all. What a great loss...


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