Bruce Springsteen, Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran are among the stars who have paid tribute to the influential Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski, following his death aged 68.

Gudinski, a towering figure in his country’s music scene, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne, according to his label, Mushroom Group.

Described as being larger-than-life, Gudinski founded Mushroom when he was 20 in 1972 and it became Australia’s largest independent entertainment group.

He played a key role in luring some of the world’s biggest stars to perform Down Under. Springsteen was one of them and paid a touching tribute on social media.

He said: “My friend Michael Gudinski was first, last and always a music man. I’ve toured the world for the last fifty years and never met a better promoter.

“Michael always spoke with a deep rumbling voice and the words would spill out so fast that half the time I needed an interpreter. But I could hear him clear as a bell when he would say, ‘Bruce, I’ve got you covered.’ And he always did.

“He was loud, always in motion, intentionally (and unintentionally) hilarious and deeply soulful. He will be remembered by artists, including this one, from all over the world every time they step foot on Australian soil.

“My deepest condolences to his wife and partner Sue and to the whole Gudinski family, of which he was so proud.”

Gudinski helped launch Minogue’s career and the devastated star shared her tribute on Twitter.

“MICHAEL GUDINSKI – Legend,” she said. “Legacy. LOVE. A Titan of the music industry. One of a kind and forever family to me. My heart is broken and I can’t believe he’s gone. Irreplaceable and unforgettable, I’ll always love you ‘The Big G’.”

Sheeran, who Gudinski had helped bring to Australia on tour, shared a picture of them together on a beach and said: “I’ll miss you mate.”

Russell Crowe described Gudinski as a “towering figure on the Australian cultural landscape” and said his death “seems almost impossible”.

He added: “I’m not sure we ever agreed on anything, except maybe @edsheeran. Still didn’t stop us from being mates for 30 years. I’m going to miss him deeply. My love to his family.”

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Barnes said Gudinski’s death meant “the heart of Australian music was ripped out”.

He added: “I felt it, my family felt it, the music business felt it , the world felt it. Michael Gudinski was not only that heart but he was my friend.”

Dannii Minogue said: “Australia’s music legend, and a dear friend. Michael Gudinski’s love and passion for music and family is like no other. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity he gave me to release my first single and album, and the journey that it took me on for so many years.”

The official Twitter account for rock band Foo Fighters also paid tribute.

Alongside a picture with Gudinski, a statement from the group said: “Thank You Michael Gudinski for giving us and countless others the best night of our lives. Over and over again. A true f****** legend. We will miss you dearly. Rock & Roll will miss you deeply.”

Mushroom Group said Gudinski had spent much of the previous year trying to help artists affected by the shutdown of live music caused by the pandemic.

He is survived by his wife Sue, son Matt and daughter Kate, the group said.