Gurrumul Album Becomes First In Indigenous Language To Top ARIA Charts

Gurrumul Yunupingu’s fourth and final album Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) has topped the ARIA albums chart making it the first to do so in an Indigenous language.

The album debuted at number one and was released nine months after Gurrumul died in July 2017 after a long battle with liver and kidney disease, he was 46-years-old.

The album took over four years to put together and is said to be Gurrumul’s most personal. Within the album are arrangements featuring musicians from the likes of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The album also includes traditional songs and harmonised chants from Gurrumul’s Yolngu life.

Gurrumul, or Dr G as he was also known as, released his first album back in 2008 but it was the performance with Sting in Paris in 2009 that really skyrocketed him into global recognition. Gurrumul has sold more than 500,000 albums worldwide.

Since then, Rolling Stones magazine described Gurrumul as one of “Australia’s most important voices” while Sting said he had a “voice of a higher being“.

Gurrumul was born blind but that was never a disadvantage for the musician who performed at places like the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012. Gurrumul also performed for former US President Barack Obama. 

Since his death, a self-titled documentary with Gurrumul’s own narration has been created to tell the story of his life journey. The documentary, which featured at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2017 will be released in selected cinemas across the country on April 25. 

You can watch the trailer below.

Gurrumul becomes the second Aboriginal artist to achieve a No. 1 ranking on the ARIA charts, joining Jessica Mauboy who claimed the spot in 2016 with her soundtrack to the series The Secret Daughter. 

Jessica will be representing Australia in the 2018 Eurovision song contest.