Ed Sheeran flies to Australia to headline state memorial for 'father figure and mentor'

Ed Sheeran was the headline act at the funeral of Michael Gudinski in Melbourne last night

Ed Sheeran was the headline act at the funeral of Michael Gudinski in Melbourne last night - Credit: Zakary Walters

Suffolk's superstar Ed Sheeran has spent two weeks in quarantine in Australia, after being granted an exemption to travel there to perform at a state memorial for a close friend.

Award winning music executive Michael Gudinski founded the famed Mushroom Records in 1972 and is known for signing iconic performers such as Kylie Minogue.

The 68-year-old died suddenly in his sleep on March 2, prompting an emotional statement from the Afterglow singer who he toured with in 2018.

Ed described the Australian as both a "father figure and a mentor" and said: "Michael was a tornado of joy.

"You would know he arrived in the building just by hearing the chaotic bark of his, and you could feel the room get excited about the arrival of his presence.

"He was such a force, and would make everyone feel like they were the most important person to him. He had a way with words, that most people couldn't understand."

The Framlingham singer headlined at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne last night, alongside Kylie Minogue and other Mushroom Records associated acts, durign the state memorial for the music guru.

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He began with playing Castle on the Hill, which he said was a personal favourite of Gudinski's — despite the fact he misheard the lyrics and would scream the wrong line ‘we were younger then’ instead of 'I was younger then'.

The arena was packed with 15,000 people and more watching online, with video tributes played live from Taylor Swift, Billy Joel, Elton John and Sting.

In his emotional statement on social media, Ed added that he has a life size bronze statue of Gudinski in his Suffolk home which he will cherish forever — gifted to him by "the heart of Australian music".

"His legacy is unmatchable, and will live on for hundreds of years."

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