Ruby Hunter Dies

Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter died Feb. 17 of a heart attack. She was 54.

Born by the side of a lake, she was forcibly removed by authorities when she was 8 years old to live with white foster families.

At 16 she was living on the streets, when she met another runaway, Archie Roach, who became her life partner. Both became recording artists.

Hunter released two award-winning albums, which had themes of racism, domestic violence and alcoholism.

She was a role model for indigenous performers and female troubadours.

“She was a knowledge keeper,” said Rhoda Roberts, director of The Dreaming festival. “How she kept her family close despite her early childhood was extraordinary.”