Molly Meldrum has penned a heartfelt tribute to his friend, late music industry titan Michael Gudinski.

Michael Gudinski passed away in his sleep on Monday, March 1st. He was 68-years old. In a career spanning over 45 years, Gudinski established himself as a tour de force amongst the Australian music and cultural industries.

Meldrum and Gudinski’s friendship spans fifty years. Meldrum has penned a lengthy, heartfelt statement honouring his late friend.

“I am unable to translate into words what I am feeling right now,” Meldrum wrote. “Not only have we lost an icon who was the cornerstone of the Australian music industry, I have lost a best friend, a brother. The void that is felt is immeasurable; I honestly find his passing very difficult to comprehend.”

He continued, “Michael and I have been friends for over 50 years and the deep respect we had for each other was profound. He was a huge influence in my life. Like me, Michael’s passion for music is unwavering. He dreamed big, worked hard, and had the tenacity, energy, and determination to drive all his ambitions home. Failure was never part of his vocabulary.”

The collaborative relationship and friendship between Michael Gudinski and Molly Meldrum stems from Molly’s early advocacy for the Mushroom-signed band Skyhooks on the music critics beloved show Countdown in the mid-1970s

“He helped place Australian music on the world map. He not only guided aspiring artists into unfathomable stardom, but he also brought the world’s biggest artists to the Australian stage. He was the life force behind live music. He was unstoppable,” he wrote.

“Music was the base and core of our friendship. We are both stubborn as hell and we would often laugh as we traded a tirade of insults to each other. I challenged him and he challenged me and as I have said many times before, Michael and I have had more dramas than Shakespeare and more laughs than Seinfeld. We really were like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.

“Michael’s legacy will echo through the entertainment industry forever. He came and he conquered. He has left a giant footprint in the heart and soul of the music industry.”

“If there was a song that could sum up how I am feeling, it would have to be the Bee Gee’s 1971 hit, ‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.’ He will forever be missed,” Meldrum concluded.