Gurrumul

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (born 1970) is an Indigenous Australian musician, who sings in the Yolngu language. He was born in Galiwin'ku (Elcho Island), off the coast of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia about 350 miles from Darwin. He is from the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu and his mother from the Galpu nation. He was born blind, has never learned Braille and does not have a guide dog or use a white cane. Yunupingu speaks only a few words of English, and is said to be acutely shy. He plays drums, keyboards, guitar (a right hand-strung guitar left-handed) and didgeridoo, but it is the clarity of his singing voice that has attracted rave reviews. He sings stories of his land in both languages (Gälpu, Gumatj or Djambarrpuynu, all Yolŋu Matha) and English. Formerly with Yothu Yindi, he is now with Saltwater Band. In 2008 Yunupingu was nominated for four ARIA awards, winning the awards for Best World Music Album and Best Independent Release. He also won three Deadlys, winning for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for Gurrumul and Single of the Year for "Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)". His first solo album, Gurrumul, debuted at #21 on the ARIA Charts and #1 on the independent chart. It also jumped to No. 1 on the iTunes Australia roots music chart in April 2008. It then unexpectedly reached No. 8 in the mainstream iTunes charts. Gurrumul peaked at #3 on the ARIA Charts. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu's friend Michael Hohnen produced the album and acts as his translator. Critics have heaped praise on the singer, describing his voice as having "transcendental beauty". Elton John, Sting and Björk are among his fans. When asked what he would do with any money he makes, he suggested it will go to his mother and aunts, following the Aboriginal tradition of sharing wealth.

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