In Tribute: New Zealand Songstress Margaret Urlich

Image: Rod Bennett

By Matt Innes

This week we pay tribute to another iconic musician, ARIA Award-winning New Zealand singer Margaret Urlich who passed away from cancer, aged 57.

A trailblazing performer and the first female artist to top the New Zealand charts, Margaret also featured as the co-vocalist on Daryl Braithwaite’s hit song ‘The Horses’.

Her family released a statement saying Margaret had passed away peacefully at her home on Monday.

“It is with incredible sadness that we inform you that Margaret Urlich passed away peacefully on 22nd August 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.

“Margaret is a much-loved multi-award-winning member of the Australian and New Zealand music industry who captured hearts around the world as a gifted singer/songwriter with a unique voice and sense of style.”

Margaret was born in Auckland in 1965 and began her career as the vocalist for new wave group Peking Man, before joining all-girl group When The Cat’s Away, who had a number-one hit in New Zealand with their cover of ‘Melting Pot’ in 1988.

That same year, Margaret moved to Australia where she recorded her debut solo album ‘Safety In Numbers’. Released in New Zealand and Australia in 1989 and 1990 respectively, the album charted top 10 in both countries and earned Margaret an ARIA Award in 1991 for ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’.

In 1990, she recorded backing vocals on Daryl Braithwaite’s hit ‘The Horses’, which has since been certified ten-times platinum in Australia and remains a beloved classic that regularly appears on ‘best of’ lists and personal playlists alike.

Margaret was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2021 along with her When The Cat’s Away bandmates Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, cementing her legendary status in her homeland and Australia.

Margaret Urlich is being fondly remembered as a beautiful and immensely gifted artist who made great contributions to both the New Zealand and Australian music industries. MADCAP Global extends our condolences and support to Margaret’s friends and family, may she rest in peace.

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