Margaret Urlich, a musician from New Zealand, died after a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Urlich died quietly on Monday at her home in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, surrounded by her family.
How did Singer Margaret Urlich die?
Margaret Urlich, a New Zealand singer who rose to prominence after moving to Sydney in the late 1980s, has died at the age of 57.
Urlich had been fighting cancer for two years, according to a statement released by her family.
Margaret Urlich Cause of death
Margaret Urlich, who rose to prominence in Australia with her rendition of The Horses with Daryl Braithwaite, died at the age of 57.
According to reports, the New Zealand-born singer died at her home in New South Wales Southern Highlands after a two-year battle with cancer.
Who is Margaret Urlich?
Margaret Mary Urlich (24 January 1965 – 22 August 2022) was a New Zealand musician who lived in New South Wales, Australia. Urlich relocated to Sydney in 1988 to pursue a career as a singer. Her first solo album, Safety in Numbers, was released in 1989 and went on to win “Breakthrough Artist – Album” at the 1991 ARIA Awards.
Chameleon Dreams, its sequel, was also a hit when it was released in 1992. Urlich has had international success, selling over 400,000 albums and ranking as one of New Zealand’s most successful recording artists. She is the cousin of Peter Urlich, another New Zealand singer.
Life and career of Margaret Urlich
Margaret Urlich started her career as a vocalist for the new wave band Peking Man, which included her brother Pat, Tim Calder, Perry Marshall, Jan Foulkes, Neville Hall, John Fearon, and Jay F-bula. Peking Man won the 1984 Shazam! Battle of the Bands (a TVNZ pop show) and had a number of hit songs in New Zealand, including “Good Luck to You,” which peaked at No. 6, “Lift Your Head Up High,” which peaked at No. 21, and “Room That Echoes,” which peaked at No. 1.
Later, she was a member of the all-girl pop group When The Cat’s Away in New Zealand. Urlich relocated to Australia in the late 1980s, and her solo debut album, Safety in Numbers, was released in 1989.
The album charted at No. 4 in New Zealand and No. 5 in Australia, and it was certified triple platinum in Australia.
Urlich received an ARIA Award for “Best Breakthrough Artist” in 1991.
Urlich, who had previously been largely unknown outside of New Zealand, provided backing vocals on a track for Australian artist Daryl Braithwaite’s second solo album, Rise, which was released in late 1990. The Rickie Lee Jones ballad “The Horses,” in which she appeared, was a No. 1 hit for Braithwaite. Braithwaite sang on a beach with a model (riding a horse) lip-syncing Urlich’s voice in the video clip. Urlich declined to appear in Braithwaite’s film clip because she had just released her new album, Safety in Numbers.
Urlich returned to the studio in March 1991, armed with a half-million-dollar recording budget, to begin pre-production for her second album, Chameleon Dreams, with English writer/producer Robyn Smith, the man behind her highly successful debut.
By the middle of the year, Urlich and Smith had arrived at Sydney’s 301 Studios to record their two songs, as well as a third song, written by Smith and Barry Blue. The same team was responsible for two of the tracks on Safety in Numbers (“Escaping” and “Guilty People”), and their most recent offering, “Boy in the Moon,” proved crucial to the new album’s sound. Other tracks were gathered while traveling the world.
Urlich traveled to London to collaborate with writers such as Rob Fisher, with whom she co-wrote “Chameleon Dreams,” the album’s title track.
She then traveled to Los Angeles, where she met Grammy Award-winning writer/producer Ian Prince, with whom she collaborated on two songs for the album and with whom she co-produced four tracks. She returned to London and co-wrote several songs with Simon Law and Tony Swain before finishing the project with three songs produced by Swain.
Chameleon Dreams’ success earned Urlich the title of “Best Selling New Zealand Artist of the Year” at the 1992 World Music Awards in Monte Carlo. She performed “Love Train” at the awards ceremony.
Urlich took part in the second Wizards of Oz promotion organized by Export Music Australia (EMA) and Austrade in 1993. She performed in Japan with Rick Price and the band Yothu Yindi. For Kate Ceberano’s 1994 album Kate Ceberano and Friends, Urlich and Dale Barlow recorded a version of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
Urlich returned to her long-standing collaboration with British writer/producer Robyn Smith for her third album, The Deepest Blue. All but two of the album’s tracks were co-written by her and Smith. The Deepest Blue, released in August 1995, did not have the same impact as her previous two albums.
After her contract with Sony Music expired in 1998, she relocated to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, where she established a home and a new recording studio with her partner. Here she recorded her fourth album, Second Nature, a 12-month recording project produced by Eddie Rayner of Split Enz that included musicians from Australia and New Zealand.
Urlich appeared as a special guest on The Micallef Program’s first season, episode 6, performing a comical duet of the Carly Simon classic “You’s So Vain” with Shaun Micallef.
Tributes to Margaret Urlich
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Margaret Urlich died peacefully on August 22nd, 2022, at her home in the Southern Highlands of NSW, surrounded by her family, after a courageous two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer,” the statement said.
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“Margaret is a well-known, multi-award-winning member of the Australian and New Zealand music industries who has won hearts all over the world as a gifted singer/songwriter with a distinct voice and sense of style.”
“We appreciate your respecting the privacy of her family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
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