April 16, 2013
Canadian Singer Rita MacNeil Dies And Has Returned To Heaven – Farewell Fair Lass
Today the world mourns the loss of one of its most beautiful voices, that of Canadian singer, Rita MacNeil. Rita was not only a beautiful person, and an magnificent artist, she was a Canadian folk music icon who brought maritime tales to millions around the world. She was bullied all through her childhood, and her life certainly had its share of difficulties. We, at The Northern Star, feel the sting of her loss, but admit that her voice really always belonged in heaven, we were just lucky enough to have heard her for a while. Goodbye Rita, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful gift while you were here with us.
Born in Big Pond, Cape Breton on May 28, 1944, MacNeil was one of eight children of Neil and Catherine MacNeil. Her early life was tough. She wrote about her shyness, the bullying she endured because of her cleft palate, and love affairs gone wrong in her book, On A Personal Note. Rita, a big-hearted, silver-throated singer from the coal mining area of the maritimes, died Tuesday night in hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia from complications following stomach surgery. She was 68.
Rita MacNeil was best known for her beautiful renditions of Working Man, Flying on Your Own, Reason to Believe, I’ll Accept The Rose Tonight and Home I’ll Be. She recorded more than 24 albums, won three Juno Awards, several East Coast Music Awards. and a Gemini for the CBC TV variety show Rita & Friends, which she hosted from 1994 to 1997.