Ed Sheeran flies into Australia to perform at Michael Gudinski’s state memorial

Sheeran has described the late Mushroom Group founder as a "father figure and mentor"

Ed Sheeran has reportedly flown into Australia to perform at the memorial of friend and Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski.

Gudinski died unexpectedly earlier this month, aged 68. His sudden passing led to tributes from Russell Crowe, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Kylie Minogue and Sheeran, among many others.

Days after his passing, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed a state memorial would be held on March 24 at Rod Laver Arena.

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As the Daily Mail reported last week, Sheeran has flown into Australia and is currently self-isolating in Byron Bay. He will eventually travel to Melbourne to perform at the state memorial.

Sheeran was close friends with Gudinski, having had his 2018 Australian tour promoted through Mushroom Group’s touring arm, Frontier. The singer has also described him as a “father figure and mentor”.

“Michael was a tornado of joy. You would know he arrived in the building just by hearing the chaotic bark of his [voice], and you could feel the room get excited about the arrival of his presence,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram earlier this month.

“We were, first and foremost, friends. He was a father figure and mentor to me, but also we enjoyed the peaks of our touring career together in 2018, breaking the record for most tickets sold in Australia.”

Sheeran also spoke about the life-sized bronze statue of Gudinski he was gifted to celebrate the end of his Australian tour.

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“When we finished the last tour, he asked me what I wanted as an end of tour gift. I said a life-sized bronze statue of him, so I could always have a drink with him in my house, because he lived so far away. A year later this statue turns up,” he said.

“The night he passed, I was very grateful to be able to share his favourite wine with him and say goodbye. And will be eternally grateful that I can now do this every night from now on.”

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