Australian music icon Doug Parkinson has sadly passed away suddenly at his home at the age of 74, it’s been announced.

As per The Cairns Post, Parkinson’s publicist Lionel Midford confirmed the news of his client’s death and paid tribute to his legacy.

“Just received the saddest news that Doug Parkinson, the legendary Australian Recording Artist with a powerful and soulful voice, passed away suddenly at home,” he wrote. “Doug Parkinson was widely considered one of the most unusual and influential singer/song writers in the history of contemporary music.”

Over five decades, Parkinson had been one of the most distinctive presences in Australian music. Traversing the pop, surf, and rock genres, he was an eclectic musician. The music historian Ian McFarlane said that Parkinson “conveyed considerable charisma with his imposing presence, ‘Lucifer’ beard and gruff, raspy voice. He also surrounded himself with mature, seasoned musicians who added to his appeal.”

After fronting bands including Strings and Things/A Sound, Parkinson went solo in the 1970’s. His cover version of the Beatles’ hit ‘Dear Prudence’ and his follow-up single ‘Without You’ both reached number five in the top 40 charts. His debut solo album, No Regrets, was released in 1973.

He also performed in stage productions including Jesus Chris Superstar, Ned Kelly and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, his most recent solo single coming back in 2003.

Music always remained his passion and in 2017, Parkinson toured the country performing tribute shows for Joe Cocker. In just a few days before Parkinson was due to perform in Torrensville this Thursday.

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Tributes have been flooding in since the news broke. David Campbell, Jimmy Barnes’s son, said, “Just heard the news about Doug Parkinson passing away. An enormous vocalist and a man who worked continually in his career. Another huge loss for the Australian Music Industry. Doug’s version of Dear Prudence matched the Beatles. Vale.”

Parkinson is survived by his wife Suzie.

Listen to Doug Parkinson’s version of ‘Dear Prudence’:

Click to play videoPlay