Australian Guitarist/Vocalist Jimmy Little Passes Away At 75

Renowned Australian guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Little has passed away in his home in rural New South Wales.

The revolutionary indigenous artist was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2004 and underwent a life-saving transplant shortly after. However, the aging legend was also a sufferer of diabetes and had a heart condition. He died on Monday morning (Australian time) in his bed with his daughter by his side.
Little became one of the first Aboriginal people to gain commercial success in the music industry. In a career that spanned over 50 years, Little produced several well-known classics like Royal Telephone and the top 10 single Baby Blue.
The song Royal Telephone was recorded and released during the 1960s, in a time when Australia’s indigenous people weren’t even recognized as being Australian citizens. The song was well received by the white population and is still seen to this day as being vital in bridging the gap between white and indigenous Australia.
In 2009, Little released a new version of the song. At the time, he said the release was a representation of his career coming full circle. “That to me is also a bookend of me there and me here now – and in the middle it’s still the one heart, the one spirit, the one voice and the one personality…This was the Jimmy Little of today singing the song of yesterday,” he said.
Little’s contribution to Australian music saw him become officially recognized as a National Living Treasure, awarded an Order of Australia and inducted into the music industry’s Aria Hall of Fame. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Sydney University for his contribution to Aboriginal culture.
Little is survived by his daughter, Frances Claire Peters-Little, and his grandson, James Henry Little. He was 75 at the time of his passing.