29 Dec 2015

Tributes paid to Easybeats frontman

5:53 am on 29 December 2015

Australians - and New Zealanders - are paying tribute to Stevie Wright, widely regarded as Australia's first international pop star, after he died aged 68.

The Easybeats

Australian band The Easybeats achieved international success in just five years. Photo: AAP

He became a superstar at the age of 16, as lead singer of iconic 1960s rock band The Easybeats.

Their song, 'Friday On My Mind', became a global hit and was voted the best Australian song ever in a 2001 poll.

The group broke up after five years, but their music was later covered by David Bowie, INXS and many others.

Battling drug and alcohol addiction, he underwent electric shock treatments and "deep sleep therapy" - medically induced comas - in the 1970s, that left him with long-term after-effects.

The Sydney private hospital that treated him was later the subject of a Royal Commission after dozens of patients died.

Members of the Easybeats: Harry Vanda, Stevie Wright, and Snowy Fleet, on the red carpet at a hall of fame night in 2005.

Members of The Easybeats, left to right: Harry Vanda, Stevie Wright, and Snowy Fleet (2005). Photo: AAP

He passed away in hospital on Sunday night.

From 'Ten Pound Pom' to international star