Agustinus Rumwaropen, frontman and guitarist of pioneering West Papuan rock/reggae outfit the Black Brothers, died of a heart attack last Friday (May 20) in Canberra. He was 52.

Agustinus Rumwaropen, frontman and guitarist of pioneering West Papuan rock/reggae outfit the Black Brothers, died of a heart attack last Friday (May 20) in Canberra. He was 52. The band has lived in exile in Australia since 1989 due to its outspoken comments on Indonesian occupation of West Papua.

The act toured the Pacific frequently, headlining fes Napuan, a major Melanesian music festival in Vanuatu in 2003.

Australian-based performer and producer David Bridie, who worked with bands from the region, says that Black Brothers' dozen self-released albums were a major influence on younger bands throughout the Pacific region. "From Suva to Noumea to Vila and Port Moresby, they were arguably the most important band in this region," Bridie said. "(Rumwaropen) was a dynamic personality and an outspoken human rights advocate for his people whose legacy will be an important one."

In separate news Down Under, Adam Rust, singer with Adelaide pop band Superlux, was killed Saturday morning (May 21) in a car accident. He was 28. Rust and his wife Jennifer Whalen had married a week before. Whalen is recovering in hospital and said to be in a stable condition.

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