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Archie Roach is confirmed dead at the age of 66.

If you treat everyone like Archie Roach did, you will also be remembered fondly.
⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️⚱️
'The world will miss Archie💔
What did Archie Roach do?
Archie was best known as a Australian musician and singer-songwriter ("Took the Children Away").
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Archie Roach's death was likely due to unknown.
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Archie Roach
Roach in 2016
Roach in 2016
Background information
Birth nameArchibald William Roach
Born(1956-01-08)8 January 1956
Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia
Died30 July 2022(2022-07-30) (aged 66)
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
GenresAlternative rock, world, roots
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, six-string guitar
Years active1980s–2022
LabelsMushroom, Liberation Music, ABC Music
Archibald William Roach AM (8 January 1956 – 30 July 2022) was an Aboriginal Australian musician. He was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and a campaigner for the rights of Indigenous Australians. His musical and life partner was Ruby Hunter (1955–2010). He was a Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung) and Bundjalung senior elder, songman and storyteller.
Roach first became known for the song "Took the Children Away", which featured on his debut solo album, Charcoal Lane in 1990. Since then, he has toured around the globe, headlining and opening shows for Joan Armatrading, Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega and Patti Smith. His work has been recognised by numerous nominations and awards, including a Deadly Award for a "Lifetime Contribution to Healing the Stolen Generations" in 2013. At the 2020 ARIA Music Awards on 25 November 2020, Roach was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Contents
1 Early life
2 Career
2.1 1989–2000: Charcoal Lane, Jamu Dreaming and Looking for Butter Boy
2.2 2001–2009: Sensual Being and Journey
2.3 2010–2016: Into the Bloodstream and Let Love Rule
2.4 2017–2022: The Concert Collection 2012–2018 and Tell Me Why
3 Activism
4 Personal life
5 Discography
6 Honours
7 Recognition and awards
7.1 AIR Awards
7.2 APRA Awards
7.3 ARIA Awards
7.4 Australia Council for the Arts
7.5 Deadly Awards
7.6 Don Banks Music Award
7.7 J Awards
7.8 Mo Awards
7.9 Music Victoria Awards
7.10 National Dreamtime Awards
7.11 National Indigenous Music Awards
8 References
9 External links
Early life
Archibald William Roach was born on 8 January 1956 in Mooroopna, Victoria. Mooroopna is named after an Aboriginal word referring to a bend in the Goulburn River, near Shepparton in central Victoria. Roach is of Gunditjmara and Bundjalung heritage.
In 1956, Roach's family, along with the rest of the area's Indigenous population, were re-housed on Rumbalara mission. Roach and his family subsequently moved to Framlingham, where his mother had been born.
At the age of two, Roach and his sisters, along with the other Indigenous Australian children of the stolen generations, were forcibly removed from their family by Australian government agencies and placed in an orphanage. After two unpleasant placements in foster care, Roach was eventually fostered by Alex and Dulcie Cox, a family of Scottish immigrants in Melbourne. Their eldest daughter Mary Cox would sing church hymns and taught Roach the basics of guitar and keyboards. Roach's love of music was further fuelled by Alex's collection of Scottish music. "He was a big influence on me — a good influence. I'll love him to the day I die."
At fifteen, Roach was contacted by his natural sister, who told him their mother had just died. He spent the next fourteen years on the streets, battling alcoholism. Roach met his future wife, Ruby Hunter, at a Salvation Army drop-in centre known as the People's Palace in Adelaide when she was sixteen.
Career
Roach's career spans three decades, during which he has toured extensively, and headlined and opened shows for luminaries such as Joan Armatrading, Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega and Patti Smith.
1989–2000: Charcoal Lane, Jamu Dreaming and Looking for Butter Boy
In the late 1980s, Roach and Hunter formed a band, the Altogethers, with several other Indigenous Australians and moved to Melbourne. At the urging of Henry "Uncle Banjo" Clark, Roach wrote his first song, "Took the Children Away", which he performed on a community radio station in Melbourne and on an Indigenous current affairs program in 1988. Australian musician Paul Kelly invited Roach to open his concert early in 1989, where he performed "Took the Children Away", a song telling the story of the Stolen Generations and his own experience of being forcibly removed from his family. His performance was met with stunned silence, followed by shattering applause.
In 1990, with the encouragement of Kelly, Roach recorded his debut solo album, Charcoal Lane, which was released in May 1990. The album was certified gold and awarded two ARIA Awards at the 1991 ceremony. The album included "Took the Children Away" which became one of the most important songs in Australia's contemporary history. In 1990, Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's awarded the song its first Human Rights Award for songwriting. Charcoal Lane featured in the top 50 albums for 1992 by Rolling Stone magazine.
In May 1993, Roach released his second studio album, Jamu Dreaming. The album was recorded with musical assistance from David Bridie, Tiddas, Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Ruby Hunter, Dave Arden and Joe Geia. The album peaked at number 55 on the ARIA Charts.
In 1995, Roach toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. He returned to Australia to record the title track for ATSIC's Native Title CD, Our Home, Our Land, with Tiddas, Kev Carmody, Bart Willoughby, Shane Howard and Bunna Laurie. In 1996, Roach performed as part of a presentation to the Human Rights Commission's Inquiry into the Stolen Generations, before embarking on a national tour as a guest of Tracy Chapman.
In October 1997, Roach released his third studio album, Looking for Butter Boy, which was recorded on his traditional land at Port Fairy in south-western Victoria. The album's lead single, "Hold On Tight", won the ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Release in 1997 and the album won the same award at the 1998 award ceremony.
2001–2009: Sensual Being and Journey
Main articles: Sensual Being, Journey (Archie Roach album), and 1988 (Archie Roach album)
In July 2002, Roach released his fourth studio album, Sensual Being, which peaked at number 59 on the ARIA charts. In 2002, he worked on the Rolf de Heer film The Tracker.
In 2004, Roach and Hunter collaborated with the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) and Paul Grabowsky to create a concert titled Ruby's Story. Ruby tells the story of Ruby Hunter through music and the spoken word, from her birth near a billabong on the banks of the Murray River, through the stolen generation, search for identity and the discovery of hope through love. The production debuted at the Message Sticks Festival at the Sydney Opera House in June 2004, to good reviews. In 2004, the soundtrack, Ruby, won the Deadly Award for Excellence in Film & Theatrical Score, and the show went on to tour nationally and internationally until 2009. The soundtrack was released as an album on CD and as a digital download in 2005.
In October 2004 a new concert, once again a collaboration with Hunter, Grabowsky and the AAO, entitled Kura Tungar – Songs from the River, premiered at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, which was directed by Robyn Archer that year. The concert, which was directed by Patrick Nolan, told stories from the two performers' lives, and featured songs about the Murray River and Ngarrindjeri Country, Ruby's home. The music used Roach and Hunter's lyrics and chords combined with Grabaowsky and the AAO's contemporary jazz orchestration. It played to full houses which gave standing ovations and was later performed at the Sydney Opera House and Adelaide Festival Centre. In 2005 the won the Helpmann Award for the Best Contemporary Australian Concert at the 5th Helpmann Awards.
In October 2007, Roach released Journey, an album of songs as a companion piece to a documentary film called Liyarn Ngarn, made with Roach, Patrick Dodson and Pete Postlethwaite.
In November 2009, ABC Music released previously unreleased Roach recordings from 1988 under the album title 1988.
2010–2016: Into the Bloodstream and Let Love Rule
Main articles: Into the Bloodstream, Creation (Archie Roach album), and Let Love Rule (Archie Roach album)
Archie Roach performing at WOMADelaide in 2011.
In October 2012, Roach released Into the Bloodstream, an album he described as being built on pain following the death of his wife in February 2010. In 2013 he won a Deadly Award for Album of the Year for this album, as well as a "Lifetime Contribution to Healing the Stolen Generations".
In October 2013, Roach released Creation, a 4-CD box set of his first four studio albums. The album was released to coincide with the premiere of Roach's new live show, also entitled Creation, which debuted at the inaugural Boomerang Festival in Byron Bay from 4–6 October 2013.
At the APRA Music Awards of 2015 2015, Roach (and Shane Howard) won Best Original Song Composed for the Screen "The Secret River" from The Secret River.
In November 2015, Roach celebrated the 25th anniversary of Charcoal Lane with a deluxe remastered edition. The new edition included a second disc featuring previously unreleased Triple J - Live At The Wireless recordings and new interpretations of classic Charcoal Lane material by various artists. In November and December 2015, Roach undertook a national tour to celebrate the album's 25th anniversary.
In November 2016, Roach released his seventh studio album, Let Love Rule, which peaked at number 24 on the ARIA Charts, becoming his highest charting album to date.
2017–2022: The Concert Collection 2012–2018 and Tell Me Why
At the APRA Music Awards of 2017 in March 2017, Roach won the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.
In April 2018, Roach performed at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony on the Gold Coast with Amy Shark.
In May 2019, Roach released The Concert Collection 2012–2018 and in July 2019, was nominated for two awards at the 2019 National Indigenous Music Awards.
In November 2019, Roach released a memoir and companion album titled, Tell Me Why. The album's lead single "Open Up Your Eyes" is the first song Roach ever wrote, dating back to the late 1970s, but it has never been recorded until now. Tell Me Why became Roach's first top ten album on the ARIA Charts. His book was shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Premier's Prize for Nonfiction and won the 2020 Indie Book Non-Fiction Award. It also won the Audiobook of the Year at the 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards.
Wash My Soul in the River's Flow (2021), written and directed by Philippa Bateman and produced by Bateman, Kate Hodges and Roach, is a feature-length documentary film based on the 2004 concert Kura Tungar-Songs from the River, featuring Roach, Hunter, Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra, in which Hunter and Roach sing about the Murray River and Ngarrindjeri lands. The film also tells of the love story between Hunter and Roach, and is interspersed with vision of The Coorong. The film had its world premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival in October 2021 and was an official selection for the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival in December 2021.
In February 2022, Roach announced the release of career-spanning anthology, titled My Songs: 1989–2021.
Activism
In 2013, shortly after receiving his Lifetime Deadly Award, Roach called on recently-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott for an end to the Northern Territory Intervention.
Roach is a supporter of Justice Action, a criminal justice reform organisation based in Sydney, Australia.
Personal life
Roach (right) with Ruby Hunter at the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival
Roach's wife and musical partner, Ruby Hunter, died on 17 February 2010 aged 54. On 14 October 2010, Roach suffered a stroke while working in the Kimberley region. After recuperating, he returned to live performance in April 2011. He has also survived lung cancer, due to early diagnosis in 2011 and major surgery.
Roach died on 30 July 2022 at Warrnambool Base Hospital after a long illness.
Discography
Main article: Archie Roach discography
Charcoal Lane (1990)
Jamu Dreaming (1993)
Looking for Butter Boy (1997)
Sensual Being (2002)
Journey (2007)
Into the Bloodstream (2012)
Let Love Rule (2016)
Dancing with My Spirit (2018)
Tell Me Why (2019)
The Songs of Charcoal Lane (2020)
Honours
In 2011, Roach was one of the first people inducted to the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll.
In 2015, Roach was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to music as a singer-songwriter, guitarist and a prominent supporter of social justice.
In 2020, Roach was named the 2020 Victoria Australian of the Year.
In 2022, two side-by-side pillar-shaped monuments were erected on the shores of Lake Bonney at Barmera, in homage to Hunter and Roach. Glass mosaic artwork on the front side of each monument depict Hunter's Ngarrindjeri totem, the pelican (nori) and Roach's totem, the eagle, respectively.
Recognition and awards
In 2009, Roach and Hunter, as a couple, won the Individual Award in the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards.
"Took the Children Away" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013.
AIR Awards
The Australian Independent Record Awards (commonly known informally as AIR Awards) is an annual awards night to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of Australia's Independent Music sector.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
AIR Awards of 2017
Let Love Rule
Best Independent Blues and Roots Album
Nominated
APRA Awards
The APRA Awards are held in Australia and New Zealand by the Australasian Performing Right Association to recognise songwriting skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually. They commenced in 1982.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
Ref.
2017
Archie Roach
Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music
awarded
"It's Not Too late"
Song of the Year
Shortlisted
2020
"Open Up Your Eyes"
Song of the Year
Shortlisted
2021
"Tell Me Why" (with Sally Dastey)
Song of the Year
Shortlisted
ARIA Awards
Roach has received nine ARIA Music Awards from twenty-one nominations.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
1991
Charcoal Lane
Best New Talent
Won
Best Indigenous Release
Won
Breakthrough Artist - Album
Nominated
"Took the Children Away"
Breakthrough Artist – Single
Nominated
1992
"Down City Streets"
Best Indigenous Release
Nominated
1994
Jamu Dreaming
Best Indigenous Release
Nominated
1997
"Hold On Tight"
Best Indigenous Release
Won
1998
Looking for Butter Boy
Best Indigenous Release
Won
Best Adult Contemporary Album
Won
2002
Sensual Being
Best Adult Contemporary Album
Nominated
Richard Pleasance & Paul Kelly for Sensual Being
Producer of the Year
Nominated
The Tracker
Best Original Soundtrack Album
Nominated
2008
Journey
Best World Music Album
Nominated
2010
1988
Best World Music Album
Nominated
2013
Into the Bloodstream
Best Blues & Roots Album
Nominated
2017
Let Love Rule
Best Blues & Roots Album
Nominated
2020
Tell Me Why
Best Male Artist
Won
Best Adult Contemporary Album
Won
Best Independent Release
Nominated
Archie Roach
Hall of Fame
Inductee
2021
The Songs of Charcoal Lane
Best Blues & Roots Album
Won
Best Independent Release
Nominated
Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council for the Arts arts funding and advisory body for the Government of Australia. Since 1993, it has awarded a Red Ochre Award. It is presented to an outstanding Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal Australian or Torres Strait Islander) artist for lifetime achievement.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
2011
himself
Red Ochre Award
Awarded
Deadly Awards
The Deadly Awards, (commonly known simply as The Deadlys), was an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community. They ran from 1996 to 2013.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
Deadly Awards 1997
"himself"
Male Artist of the Year
Won
Deadly Awards 1998
"himself"
Male Artist of the Year
Won
Deadly Awards 2002
"himself"
Male Artist of the Year
Won
Sensual Being
Album of the Year
Won
Deadly Awards 2003
"himself"
Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music
Won
Deadly Awards 2004
Ruby (with Ruby Hunter and Paul Grabowsky)
Excellence in Film & Theatrical Score
Won
Deadly Awards 2010
1988
Album of the Year
Won
Deadly Awards 2013
Into the Bloodstream
Album of the Year
Won
"himself"
The Lifetime Contribution Award For Healing The Stolen Generations
inductee
Don Banks Music Award
The Don Banks Music Award was established in 1984 to publicly honour a senior artist of high distinction who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia. It was founded by the Australia Council in honour of Don Banks, Australian composer, performer and the first chair of its music board.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
2015
Archie Roach
Don Banks Music Award
awarded
J Awards
The J Awards are an annual series of Australian music awards that were established by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's youth-focused radio station Triple J. They commenced in 2005.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
J Awards of 2020
Archie Roach
Double J Artist of the Year
Won
Mo Awards
The Australian Entertainment Mo Awards (commonly known informally as the Mo Awards), were annual Australian entertainment industry awards. They recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia from 1975 to 2016. Archie Roach won two awards in that time.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result (wins only)
1991
Archie Roach
Folk Performer of the Year
Won
1992
Archie Roach
Folk Performer of the Year
Won
Music Victoria Awards
The Music Victoria Awards, are an annual awards night celebrating Victorian music. The commenced in 2005 (although nominee and winners are unknown from 2005-2012).
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
2013
himself
Best Indigenous Act
Nominated
himself
Best Male Artist
Nominated
Into the Bloodstream
Best Folk Roots Album
Won
2015
himself
Hall of Fame
inductee
2017
himself
Best Indigenous Act
Nominated
National Dreamtime Awards
The National Dreamtime Awards, are an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in sport, arts, academic and community. They commenced in 2017
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
2018
himself
Achievement award
Won
National Indigenous Music Awards
The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) recognise excellence, dedication, innovation and outstanding contribution to the Northern Territory music industry. The commenced in 2004.
Year
Nominee / work
Award
Result
2013
"himself"
Hall of Fame Inductee
Inductee
Into the Bloodstream
Album of the Year
Won
Cover Art of the Year
Won
"Song to Sing"
Film Clip of the Year
Won
Song of the Year
Nominated
2018
himself
Artist of the Year
Nominated
2019
"himself"
Artist of the Year
Nominated
The Concert Collection 2012-2018
Album of the Year
Nominated
2020
"himself"
Artist of the Year
Nominated
Tell Me Why
Album of the Year
Won
2022
'My Songs: 1989–2021
Album of the Year
Pending
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