PORT Fairy Folk Festival program director Justin Rudge says he is honoured to have had iconic Australian singer Renée Geyer on its bill, as news spread of her death.
The ARIA Hall of Fame inductee died in Geelong on Tuesday, aged 69.
She performed at Folkie in 2003 and 2019, and the Lady Bay Hotel in 1982 during a national tour.
"We were saddened to hear the passing of one of the greatest soul icons of Australian music," Mr Rudge said.
"We were honoured to have Renée Geyer grace the Port Fairy Folk Festival stages in 2003 and most recently in 2019, where she captivated audiences with her renowned husky vocals.
"Renée was a performer, a beloved character, a storyteller, a legend.
"We send our condolences to her family, friends and fans, who, along with us here at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, recognise the loss in the Australian and global music community."
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Geyer's death was announced through a statement on the singer's Facebook page.
"It is with immense sadness that we announce that Renée Geyer has passed away from complications following hip surgery," the statement said.
"While in hospital, it was discovered that Renée also had inoperable lung cancer.
"She was in no pain and died peacefully amongst family and friends.
"Naturally, we are all utterly devastated."
The statement went on to say Geyer had performed to a full house in December and was "looking forward to another busy year ahead doing what she loved most".
"She lived her life as she performed - to the fullest - and her passing leaves a giant void in the Australian music industry," it said.
Geyer had a music career spanning five decades and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005.
In 2013, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame and received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women in Music Awards in 2018.
She was born on September 11, 1953.
Her record label since the 1970s, Mushroom Group, released a statement on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
"We don't need to say that Renée was a great singer - everyone knows that, however it is important to acknowledge Renée's contribution to the Australian music industry," chief executive officer Matt Gudinski said.
"In particular, she was a trailblazer for women. She was fierce, independent, strong and passionate.
"When my father inducted Renée into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005, he called her 'the greatest female singer of my lifetime in Australia ... yes, you're a difficult woman, but you're bloody fantastic'.
"Renée always did things her own way and we loved her for that."
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