HENRY "Seaman" Dan had already lived a full life by the time he was 70, but the release of his debut album Follow the Sun ushered in a new dawn.
The Torres Strait Islander singer, songwriter and storyteller from Thursday Island released the album in 2000 after meeting academic researcher Karl Neuenfeldt.
The 89 year-old has done a great deal as a recording artist since Dr Neuenfeldt introduced him to Cairns based music producer Nigel Pegrum
He has recorded traditional Torres Strait Islander songs, some of his favourite Carribean tunes and many original, autobiographical recordings based on his working life as a pearl diver and jackaroo.
He is perhaps best known for penning the song T.I Blues, which was written in 1983 and became a hit for Torres Strait Islander group The Mills Sisters in 1993.
Other career accolades include becoming the oldest person to win an ARIA award in 2004, being nominated for an ARIA again as an 87 year-old, winning the Red Ochre Award in 2005 and entering the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2013.
The legendary musician said it was a big thrill to be acknowledged for his contributions to the industry.
"I couldn't stop smiling. I thought to myself; well, here we go again - get back into music," he said.
"I also felt proud my grandchildren and great grandchildren can see me getting an award for my music, my songs."
The young boy who would become Seaman Dan first started making music when his parents bought him a guitar and a man called Val McGuiness taught him a few chords.
He has been playing and singing for family and friends since the age of 15.
His interest in music started through his admiration for Tex Morton, while other major influences included Nate King Cole and Frank Sinatra
"I enjoy making people smile, tapping their feet."
"I think to myself, I'm making people happy. I gotta keep carrying on gotta keep singing."
He said he never expected to launch a new career as a recording artist at such an advanced age.
When Dr Neuenfeldt interviewed him and asked if he'd like to record an album during a visit to Thursday Island in search on Indigenous artists, he felt nothing could stop him.
He said his songwriting process relied more heavily on instinct than pre-planning.
"Sometimes I dream them (songs) and my songs comes from my walk of life, my profession as a Pearl Diver."
Whilst he has retired as a performer, he still writes music and enjoys performing for his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
To join Seaman Dan's Facebook appreciation group, click here.
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