Joy McKean Bio, Age, Family, Husband, Career, Achievement, Death, Net Worth 2023, And More

Joy McKean OAM was an Australian nation music singer-songwriter and spouse and manager of late Slim Dusty, who wrote some of her husband Slim Dusty’s most popular songs, has died of cancer at the age of 93.


Age-93 years

Height-5 feet 7 inch

Weight-58 kg

Born- 14 January 1930

Birthplace-Singleton, New South Wales, Australia

Birth name-Mildred Geraldine Joy McKean

Death- 25 May 2023

Spouse-Slim Dusty

Nationality- Australian

Occupation- Singer-songwriter, musician, talent manager



As a child, McKean lived on a dairy farm owned by his mother’s family. His father was a rural teacher and the family moved to several areas during his youth. His mother and father, who were steel guitarists,


McKean sister name was Heather, she and her sister, Heather, both learned to play various instruments and sing from a young age. Heather married another country music star, Reg Lindsay, whose Country Hour television show premiered in 1964.


Joy McKean married Slim Dusty (real name David Kirkpatrick) in 1951 (who became Mrs. Kirkpatrick but kept her stage name Joy McKean) McKean was Dusty’s wife and manager for over 50 years, creating a very successful career in the process.

Joy McKean Husband


Dusty and McKean had two children: Anne Kirkpatrick and David Kirkpatrick, who are also successful singer-songwriters. And at the time of her death, McKean had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Joy McKean Children


Joy learned to play the accordion, piano and steel guitar, while younger sister Heather McKean played the ukulele, and both began yodeling. McKean also contracted polio as a child and was nursed by her famous nurse Kenny in Sydney.

McKean made his first radio appearance around the age of 10 on Sydney’s 2 GB radio station.  McKean and his sister Heather McKean later sang for the Sydney University Revue while in university.

At age 18, in the 1940s, she performed live with her sister Heather on their half-hour Saturday radio show on 2KY as the McKean Sisters, known for their yodeling harmonies.

The Melody Trail, starring the two sisters, ran from 1949 to 1956.

The McKean’s began recording and from 1951 with the Rodeo Label they carved out such brands as “Gymkhana Yodel” and “Yodel Down the Valley”. It was during this time that Joy McKean first met Slim Dusty, who was introduced to Sydney radio DJ Tim McNamara.

McKean founded the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Australian Country Music Association and was also the author of a biography (“Slim Dusty: Another Day, Another Town”). McKean was president of the Slim Dusty Foundation Ltd, the organization set up to build and run the Slim Dusty Canter in Slim’s hometown of Kempsey, NSW. The center was opened in October 2015.

Joy McKean Career

Documentary film

The 2020 Australian documentary film Slim and I, directed by Kriv Stenders was released when Joy was aged 90, and told the story of her life with Slim Dusty. The film features cover of McKean songs by acclaimed contemporary artists including Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban.


In 1973, she was awarded the first ever Golden Guitar, for writing “Lights on the Hill”. Joy McKean received her sixth Golden Guitar Award in 2007 when Peppimenart’s Cradle won Bush Ballad of the Year. McKean celebrated his 80th birthday in 2010 with a Happy Birthday Joy concert at Tamworth’s Capitol Theatre during the Country Music Festival in January 2010

McKean is second in 2021 alongside the late Helen Reddy, who was announced earlier this year. Recipient of the Ted Albert Award for Distinguished Service to Australian Music. His 70-year career began with sign writing as a teenager before performing, recording, and broadcasting with his sister Heather in the 1940s and 50s.

She also founded the Australian Country Music Association, showing his appreciation with seven Golden Guitar wins and an industry-achiever award.  “Having worked in the music industry my entire life and loving almost every minute of it, I find it fascinating to reflect on the changes that have taken place,” McKean said this morning.

I have seen many of them, and doubtless many more than I shall ever see. The night’s performers were also announced this morning, including Jimmy Barnes, Lior, first-time nominees Lime Cordiale and The Teskey Brothers singer and rhythm guitarist Josh Teskey, who will be making their live debut at the event.  It also features Gadigal’s eldest uncle, Allen Madden, while Alex Lahey runs the red carpet for APRA’s Instagram account.

For the first time, viewers will be able to follow the APRA AMCOS YouTube channel as the event progresses.  Also included are experimental pop artist Odette (featuring Beau Golden, Daniel Walsh, and Dave Jenkins Jr) and Cat and Calmell, who showcase their live act as they enter 2020 with debut release ‘silly’.

Cause of Death

McKean has died at 93 from cancer. EMI said McKean had passed away peacefully on Thursday night, surrounded by family.

Net worth 2023

McKean net worth is $7 Million.


McKean some famous songs are listed here.

  • Wind UP Gramophone (The Slim, Dusty Movie)
  • Gymkhana Yodel
  • My Love’s a Stranger Now
  • Down the Dusty Road to
  • Old Paint
  • Moonrise Lullaby (Riding This Road · 2014)
  • Keep The Love light Shining
  • The Slim Dusty Movie
  • The Kingdom I Call Home
  • Family Reunion
  • Cause I Have You
  • Morning Mail
  • This Song Is Just for You
  • Eternal Love
  • Big Frogs in Little Puddles
  • By And By
  • Dear Old Sunny South By
  • Sweet Thang
Share on Social Media