Elton John World News: Artists Pay Tribute to Composer After She Loses Battle With Cancer

Artists Pay Tribute to Composer After She Loses Battle With Cancer-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday 20 January 2010 @ 16:46 - GMT

Kate McGarrigle, the Canadian singer and songwriter who, with her sister Anna, recorded a string of critically acclaimed albums and then became the proud matriarch of an extended folk-rock-pop musical family, died Monday after battling cancer in recent years.

The 63-year-old died at her home in Montreal, surrounded by Anna and their older sister, Jane, as well as Kate's children, singer-songwriters Rufus and Martha Wainwright.

"There were a lot of people in the living room when she went," Rufus, a friend of Elton's, said. "There certainly was an audience. We all sang songs. . . . It was really a beautiful and very mystical thing."

Elton called her death "a sad moment for music and for the Wainwright and McGarrigle families."

Numerous artists recorded songs written by the McGarrigles, including Linda Ronstadt, who said: 

"Nobody sounded like that, nobody wrote like that. She was a complete original. . . . She had this kind of bravery to her. She was absolutely unabashed -- she made no apologies for the most unbridled sentimentality. But what she wrote was beautifully said, and it had an intelligent and subtle nature to it."

McGarrigle's brother-in-law, Dane Lanken, noted that because Martha Wainwright, who gave birth to a premature baby in the UK in November, can't travel until the end of the month, any funeral will probably be postponed until then.

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