Melbourne - Greg Ham, the musician behind the controversial flute riff from Australian band Men at Work's smash hit Down Under, was found dead on Thursday, reports said.
The 58-year-old was discovered at his Melbourne home by two friends who had not heard from him for a week, the Melbourne Age said.
"At this point in time, because of the early stages of our investigation, we're not prepared to go into the exact details of what has occurred," police Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O'Connell told reporters.
Men at Work achieved international fame in the 1980s with Down Under, with the album it was on, Business As Usual, reaching No 1 on the Australian, American and British charts.
In 1983 the band won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
But their fame was overshadowed by a copyright dispute over the Down Under flute riff, with Australia's Federal Court in 2010 finding it was lifted from the children's folk tune Kookaburra, penned more than 75 years ago .
Last year, record company EMI lost an appeal against the ruling and, along with songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, were ordered to pay five percent of royalties from the song since 2002 to Kookaburra's copyright owners.
Ham said at the time he was shattered.
"It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that," he told Fairfax Media.
"I'm terribly disappointed that that's the way I'm going to be remembered - for copying something."
Down Under has become an unofficial Australian theme and jukebox staple worldwide, selling millions of copies across the globe.
Watch the video for Down Under here:
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Country legend Kenny Rogers tells us about his feelings for South Africa, his farewell tour and his friendship with Dolly Parton. Read More »
South African TV and music insiders are all pointing to Trevor Noah as the perfect frontrunner to host. Read More »
South AfricaHomeMarkR15 000 - R20 000 Per Month
South AfricaHomeMarkR11 000 - R15 000 Per Month
HousesR 2 580 000
HousesR 2 600 000
HousesR 1 995 000