Michael Gudinski AM, the founder of Mushroom Group and one of the most influential people in the Australian music industry, has died at the age of 68.

The titan of the local industry, who has been a big figure in the music community for over 50 years, passed away suddenly in Melbourne on Monday night.

Mushroom Group issued a statement on Tuesday morning, confirming his passing overnight.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Gudinski AM overnight,” it said.

“The much-loved Australian music legend died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne, Australia.”

Within Mushroom Group, Gudinski founded the Mushroom record label and Frontier Touring, as well as taking in labels like IOhYou, Ivy League, and Liberation Records under the wider Mushroom umbrella. The Mushroom family also has presence further in the entertainment industry, with ventures like Mushroom Events, Pictures, The Harbour Agency, and Love Police merch company.

In 2019, Gudinski also partnered back up with Michael Chugg to bring together Chugg Entertainment and Frontier Touring for a new touring partnership, and Gudinski taking a stake in the CMC Rocks country festival.

Over the COVID-19 shutdown, Gudinski helped create The Sound on ABC and the weekly live-streamed music series The State Of Music with the Victorian Government, to help keep the music industry bubbling away while live gigs were off the cards.

Gudinski is survived by his wife, Sue, and his children Kate and Matt and their partners, as well as his grandchildren.

“Michael’s legacy will live on through his family and the enormously successful Mushroom Group – an enduring embodiment of decades of passion and determination from an incredible man,” the statement read.

“The family respectfully ask for privacy in this incredibly difficult time and thank everyone for their support.”

Image: Getty Images / Martin Philbey