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Country Artists We’ve Lost in 2013: Rita MacNeil

Rita MacNeil

Rita MacNeil’s country career began early in life, but fame didn’t find the Canadian First Lady of Song until 1986, when she was 41 years old. The famously introverted Nova Scotia native would battle stage fright to become a sensation across the country over the next 25 years before dying from post-surgical complications on April 16, 2013.

MacNeil sold millions of albums and was known for hit songs like ‘I’ll Accept the Rose’ and ‘Working Man.’ The member of the Order of Canada also did significant work on television, hosting a Canadian variety show in the 1990s in addition to appearances elsewhere. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of a dear sweet woman and a gifted singer-songwriter who represented women and her beloved Nova Scotia so eloquently in her songs,” fellow Nova Scotian Anne Murray wrote on Facebook. The 68-year-old left behind two children.

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