Australian "indigenous rock" pioneer George Rrurrumba passed away June 10 in the Northern Territory after a battle with bone cancer. He was 50.

Rrurrumba popularised the incorporation of such indigenous instruments as didgeridoo and clapsticks to rock and roots songs through his first band, the Warumpi Band.

Their first single "Jailanguru Pakarnu (Out from Jail)," released through Hot Records in October 1983, was the first contemporary rock song to be sung in an Australian indigenous language, in this case the Luritja dialect.

The band was taken under the wing of Australian rock group Midnight Oil, who toured with them and signed them to their Powderworks label.

Warumpi Band is best known for the song "My Island Home", and the albums "Big Name No Blanket" (Powderworks/RCA) from 1985, and "Go Bush!" (Parole/Festival) from 1988, before splitting in 1998.

They reunited eight years later to cut "Too Much Humbug" (CAAMA/Shock, 1996) and undertake a European tour.