Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy and more pay tribute to Michael Gudinski at the 2021 ARIAs

The 'Breakthrough Artist' award, given to Budjerah, was renamed in Gudinski's honour

Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy and Jimmy Barnes have all paid tribute to late Mushroom Group founder at the 2021 ARIA Awards.

Gudinski passed away in March of this year, aged 68. Kylie Minogue and Bruce Springsteen were among the many artists around the world who paid tribute to him after he passed.

Vance Joy opened the tribute, saying that Gudinski first saw him play a concert at a Melbourne tapas bar, adding that he went on to promote his debut single ‘Riptide’.


Ed Sheeran, who flew to Melbourne from the UK to perform at Gudinski’s state funeral in Victoria, said that Gudinski “would be so animated when he talked about these songs.

“He’d literally turn up to tour in the middle of Asia, for just one night, and sit with me, drink wine and play me music.”

“Every time I would see him,” Sheeran continued, “he would have a new band or a new artist or a new rapper that he would play me. It wouldn’t even be an artist signed to his label, it was just Australian music he was excited about.”

Jimmy Barnes described Gudinski as “a force of nature”, saying he “was so passionate about music.”

“Michael spent every night of the week going out to see young bands playing,” Barnes continued. “He put his own heart, soul and money into every band he supported.”


To commemorate Gudinski’s impact, ARIA renamed the breakthrough artist award to ‘Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist’ award, which Budjerah took out with a teary acceptance speech.

Budjerah went on to say that, though he only spoke to Gudinski twice, the late music mogul “opened so many doors” for him.