Glenn Wheatley, Aussie music legend, dies of Covid at 74

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

The Australian entertainment industry has been rocked by the loss of music manager Glenn Wheatley, who died at the age of 74 after suffering complications from Covid-19.

Wheatley contracted the virus over the Christmas period and had been in intensive care in a Melbourne hospital prior to his passing.

Music manager Glenn Wheatley
The Australian entertainment industry has been rocked by the loss of music manager Glenn Wheatley, who died from Covid complications. Photo: AAP

The music legend is the man behind John Farnham, Delta Goodrem and Little River Band's success.

He leaves behind his wife Gaynor Martin and their three children Tim, 37, Samantha, 35, and Kara, 35.

Wheatley began in the entertainment industry as a musician himself, playing in The Masters Apprentices, who had hits such as Turn Up Your Radio and Because I Love You.

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However, when he moved to producing he made an even bigger mark. He started with Little River Band, who became on of the world's biggest rock bands in the 70s.

John Farnham had his biggest hit album under Wheatley's guidance – the 1986 hit Whispering Jack, which went on to become 24-times platinum, selling 1.7 million copies and topping charts for 25 weeks.

Glenn Wheatley and John Farnham
John Farnham had his biggest hit album under Wheatley's guidance – the 1986 hit Whispering Jack. Photo: AAP

Whispering Jack went on to become one of the highest-selling Australian albums of all time and features the track You're The Voice. Wheatley famously mortgaged his home to finance the album.

Wheatley remained John Farnham's manager until his death this week.

He also worked with Delta Goodrem to launch her successful career, working as her manager for the release of her 2003 debut album Innocent Eyes, which would go on to become one of the highest-selling albums in ARIA chart history.

Wheatley also co-founded Melbourne rock radio station EON-FM in 1980 and in recent years he bought stations on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. He also took over Sydney's 2CH in 2017, later selling three years later.

Some failed investments saw the producer almost lose all of his money, and even saw him serve a term in jail.

Glenn Wheatley and Delta Goodrem
Wheatley also launched Delta Goodrem's hugely successful career. Photo: Getty

In 2007, he was sentenced to a 15-month sentence for tax evasion and ended up spending 10 months behind bars.

Richard Wilkins took to Twitter to share his heartbreak at the loss, writing, "Gutted... what a man... what a life... what a beautiful family... R.I.P. #GlennWheatley."

Peter FitzSimmons added, "Sorry to hear this. Fascinating man. Extraordinary life, with some great ups and devastating downs, but he came through it all smiling."

David Campbell shared, "This is so bloody sad. What a lovely man. My thoughts go to Gaynor and the family. Also to John Farnham, their legacy was remarkable."

Shaynna Blaze wrote, "What incredibly sad news to wake up to. Glenn Wheatley was an incredible force in Australian music and the re-birth of John Farnham and Tina Turner. Condolences to his family."

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