Renée Geyer death: Richard Wilkins remembers Renée Geyer: ‘She was ballsy and she’s a great loss’ | Exclusive

Nine’s Entertainment Editor Richard Wilkins has fondly remembered the “ballsy” and ”talented” jazz and soul singer Renée Geyer, who has sadly died at the age of 69.

Speaking to 9Honey Celebrity, Wilkins recalls Geyer as “a great talent” who “played the industry on her terms.”

“She had such an amazing voice, such power, such range, such emotion in her voice, you know? You could smell every drop of whiskey and in her voice, songs like Stares and Whispers and Heading in the Right Direction,” Wilkins says.

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Renée Geyer has died at the age of 69, following complications from a hip surgery. (AAP)

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Geyer died due to complications from a hip surgery, her family confirmed in a statement via her record label, Mushroom Records. She also reportedly had inoperable lung cancer.

Wilkins went on to share a personal story from his years as an entertainment reporter in Australia, recalling what Geyer was like one-on-one.

“She always used to give me a hard time if I saw her and I hadn’t been kind enough, in her eyes, as to her latest endeavour – a song, an album or whatever,” Wilkins says.

“She would always give it to me. She’d go ‘Oi you!’ and she’d call me up. She would always be very positive and aggressive about her work, and I loved her for that.”

Richards Wilkins attends the Nine All Stars Event on May 16, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.
Wilkins admits Geyer would call him out if he wasn’t “kind enough” about her work. (Getty)

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Speaking of the legacy Geyer leaves behind, Wilkins affirms the singer was a true icon of the Australian ’70s and ’80s music scene.

”She was just part of that Australian music collective from the seventies and eighties, and she never really embraced the industry,” he says. “She did it on her own terms. She was just a true artist, really.”

The Australian jazz and soul singer rose to fame during the ’70s, and came along in the Australia’s “Countdown era”.

“Hers was a voice for the ages and in a different time and a different place, she should have been a global superstar,” Wilkins says.

Album cover of Renee Geyer's 1979 album 'Blues Licence'.
Geyer rose to fame in the ’70s for her jazz and soul music. (Supplied)

“Us oldies love her and respect her. Whenever I’ve been asked over the years ‘Who are the best singers in Australia or the best voices?’ I’ll obviously always include people like John Farnham and Tina Arena, and Renee Geyer was always one of my favourite picks.

“She was always on my top 10 and will remain there.”

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