Little River Band Singer John Farnham Diagnosed With Cancer

by Craig Garrett

John Farnham, an Australian singer, is in intensive care after surgery to remove a tumor from his mouth that lasted 11 and a half hours. Farnham’s family revealed his cancer diagnosis ahead of yesterday’s surgery. However, they did not provide any further information about the type of cancer he had. At 8 a.m. yesterday, the operation began in a Melbourne hospital and was completed at 7:30 p.m., the Guardian reports.

Before going into surgery, John Farnham released a statement to Billboard.“Cancer diagnosis is something that so many people face every single day,” Farnham said. “Countless others have walked this path before me,” Farnham added. “The one thing I know for sure is that we have the very best specialist healthcare professionals in Victoria. We can all be grateful for that. I know I am.”

The family of John Farnham released more details about his treatment. “John has been through an 11-and-a-half-hour surgery in Melbourne yesterday and is now in a stable condition in ICU,” his wife Jill Farnham explained. “The cancer tumor was located in his mouth and it has been successfully removed.” The surgery included reconstructing the music legend’s jaw. “There is still a long road of recovery and healing ahead of us, but we know John is up to that task.”

The Prime Minister calls John Farnham “a great Australian”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke to reporters about Farnham’s illness. “All Australians love John Farnham,” Albanese told reporters. “We wish him all the best for him and his family at this time.” He continued, stressing how important Farnham is to Australia. “It is difficult news for people to have received this morning. John Farnham has been and continues to be a great Australian. He has not only provided entertainment for Australians over many decades, he also has been a contributor to the nation.”

Farnham joined the Melbourne-based band Little River Band in 1982, which had been founded in 1975. Farnham was the lead singer on three albums: The Net (1983), Playing to Win (1985) and No Rein (1986). During his four-year career with the group, he contributed vocals to several charting songs, including “Down on the Border,” “The Other Guy,” “We Two,” and “You’re Driving Me Out of My Mind.”

After leaving Little River Band, Farnham started his solo career and dropped the hit single “You’re the Voice” in 1986. The song went straight to No. 1 on Australian billboards, and the album it was featured on, Whispering Jack, held its place at number one for a while too. In fact, that album is still the second-highest-selling album of all time in Australia. Most recently, Farnham released a 2016 album of Christmas duets with his friend Olivia Newton-John, who sadly passed away from cancer earlier this month.