Ed Sheeran gets tattoo tribute to Michael Gudinski after emotional memorial performance in Melbourne

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Ed Sheeran with Matt Gudinski (centre) at the Grey Street Tattoo parlour (Instagram/Grey Street Tattoo)
Ed Sheeran with Matt Gudinski (centre) at the Grey Street Tattoo parlour (Instagram/Grey Street Tattoo)

Ed Sheeran and Michael Gudinski’s son have got matching tattoos in honour of the late Australian music legend.

Gudinski died peacefully in his sleep aged 68 earlier this month, with a state memorial taking place this week in Melbourne.

He was considered a father figure to the Australian music scene, having founded independent label Mushroom Records in May 1972.

Sheeran, who described the late music promoter and manager as a friend, mentor and “father figure”, performed at the concert alongside artists including Jimmy Barnes and Kylie Minogue.

Sheeran was granted an exemption to fly into Australia with his family for the memorial, and quarantined before headlining the star-studded event held at Rod Laver Arena.

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The 15,000-seat arena was at capacity for its first music event since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Those who missed out on tickets were able to tune in online.

Sheeran opened with his single “Castle On the Hill”, revealing it had been a personal favourite of Gudinksi’s after he played it for him and his wife Sue at their Port Douglas home in 2015.

“He must have misheard the lyric because he started, from that point, screaming whenever he saw me ‘we were younger then’,” Sheeran said.

“I never told him it was actually ‘I was younger then’.”

The British artist also performed a new song called “Visiting Hours”. Towards the end of the song he became visibly emotional, and cried onstage as he paid tribute to Gudinski.

Today (Friday 26 March), he got a tattoo of Gudinski’s signature pose – a single finger representing “No 1” – with Gudinski’s son, Matt, at the Grey Street Tattoo parlour in St Kilda.

“Nothing will fill the void he left in our lives, but the memories we all have of him will live on,” Sheeran wrote in a moving and lengthy tribute to Gudinski on social media, posted earlier this month.

“In between the tears there has been laughter and joy remembering this Titan of a man.”

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