Ed Sheeran debuted a new song as he took part in a special state memorial for the late Australian music legend Michael Gudinski tonight.
The British singer was just one of several stars to turn out to pay their respects to Gudinski, who sadly passed away aged 68 on March 2nd.
The memorial service at Rod Laver Arena tonight, March 24th, featured Jimmy Barnes, who held a strong personal relationship with Gudinski, performing two songs, as well as other Australian icons Kylie Minogue and Paul Kelly.
Tributes to the industry icon from the likes of Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Billy Joel were also displayed on the screen, emphasising the immensity of Gudinski’s impact in music.
Sheeran had previously tried to express his depth of feeling in an Instagram post upon Gudinski’s passing. “It’s so hard to put into words how much Michael meant to me, and to all of us who knew him,” he said. “Michael was a tornado of joy. You would know he arrived in the building just by hearing the chaotic bark of his, and you could feel the room get excited about the arrival of his presence.”
He continued: “We were, first and foremost, friends. He was a father figure and mentor to me, but also we enjoyed the peaks of our touring career together in 2018, breaking the record for most tickets sold in Australia.”
Sheeran then proved just how true these feelings were for his promoter and friend as he flew into Australia to ensure he was at tonight’s memorial service. It meant that the singer had to spend two weeks in quarantine in Sydney. “I know it’s a difficult thing to get into this country and I don’t take it for granted either,” he said nervously as he took to the stage.
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Ed Sheeran singing a new song he wrote for Michael last week in quarantine in Australia “Visiting Hours” – this is incredible and so emotional “this is not goodbye till we meet again” #michaelgudinski pic.twitter.com/rQJYsZ9lOV
— ☀️²⁸ ali ᴴ ☀️ (@loulou_and_haz) March 24, 2021
Dressed in an appropriate black suit, Sheeran debuted a new song that he wrote specifically for Gudinski. Titled ‘Visiting Hours’, it’s as sweet and emotional as you’d expect it to be. Pictures of the pair together flashed across the screen behind him.
After finishing the song, Sheeran retreated from the stage, visibly overcome. His kindhearted and beautiful gesture won’t be forgotten by Australians.