July 3, 2013 3:00 pm

Rita MacNeil to be inducted into Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Above: Ross Lord takes a look back at the legacy of Rita MacNeil — a Canadian original

HALIFAX – The late Cape Breton songstress Rita MacNeil will be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame this fall.

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MacNeil, who died in April at 68 from complications following surgery, is one of two people to earn the honour this year. A ceremony is set for Sept. 7, during Canadian Country Music Week in Edmonton.

She will be recognized along with Calgary publicist Ed Harris.

MacNeil’s son Wade Langham issued a statement expressing a “heartfelt thank you” to the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA).

“She truly lived to perform and share her music,” he said. “That it touched so many people is a gift we can all cherish.”

The Big Pond, N.S. native was a beloved Canadian music icon, singing a range of music including gospel, folk and country.

Throughout her 30-year career, MacNeil put out 24 albums and earned three JUNO awards, four CCMA Awards, several East Coast Music Awards and she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

She was best known for her 1987 track “Flying On Your Own” and her CBC variety show Rita and Friends.

Watch: Rita MacNeil’s “Flying On Your Own”

MacNeil’s success came late in life, however. She recorded her first album, Born a Woman, in 1975 while active in the women’s movement and performed at folk festivals for a decade before being discovered at Expo 86 in Vancouver and signed to a major label.

- with files by The Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2013

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