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.
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
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