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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Musician and health ambassador Jimmy Little passes away

Date posted: 2 April 2012

Dr Jimmy Little, the first Indigenous performer to top Australia's pop music charts, and an ambassador for Indigenous health, has died at the age of 75.

The musician had been ill for some time and passed away in his sleep this morning with his daughter near his bedside.

Dr Little's music manager Graham 'Buzz' Bidstrup said the family was planning to release a statement later today.

'It wasn't unexpected but when it happens it hits you,' Bidstrup said.

James Oswald 'Jimmy' Little was born on March 1, 1937 at the Cummeragunja Mission in NSW.

One of the first Indigenous artists to receive mainstream success in Australia, his hits included Royal telephone and Baby blue.

He received almost every major Australian music industry award during his career, including membership to the Tamworth Roll of Renown, plus honorary doctorates from QUT, Sydney University and The Australian Catholic University.

Following a successful kidney transplant in February 2004, Dr Little travelled around Australia attending community events, health seminars and music festivals. He was the patron of the Indigenous Doctors Association of Australia, and an ambassador for The Fred Hollows Foundation and Kidney Health Australia. In 2006, he began the Jimmy Little Foundation to improve renal health across Indigenous communities in regional and remote Australia.

Sources: SBS World News Australia; Jimmy Little Foundation


Last updated: 2 April 2012
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