McLean “passed away peacefully last night with his family by his side after a long battle with cancer,” EMI Recorded Music announced in a statement.
“She will be remembered as a pioneer of Australian music,” the statement said.
McKean wrote many of her husband Slim Dusty’s most famous songs and won the first ever Golden Guitar Award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the song ‘Lights on the Hill’.
Her musical partnership with Slim, in which she was his manager, produced more than 100 albums, sold more than eight million albums, and earned 45 Golden Guitars.
Previously, Paul Kelly described her as “one of our best songwriters”, while Troy Cassar-Daley called her “a national treasure”.
McKean is survived by his children Anne Kirkpatrick and David Kirkpatrick, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.