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Rita MacNeil

Rita MacNeil comic strip

Biography – Rita MacNeil

– by Shawn Conner

Earlier this year, Rita MacNeil passed away.

Like many Canadians of my generation (X!), I thought of MacNeil, if I thought of her at all, as a mainstream singer that appealed mostly to Top 40 listeners.

But the more research that I did following her death, the more I came to respect the singer.

She overcame tremendous odds to become a success. In an industry that values beauty and youth, she was a large woman who experienced her first real success in her 40s. In an industry that is always looking for something new, she had a career that lasted over 20 years. In an industry centred in Toronto, she was from the East Coast. And before she signed to a record company, she released and financed her albums herself.

So, here’s to Rita MacNeil – a true hero of the Canadian music industry.

(Click on image to see full size.)

Rita MacNeil comic strip

Rita MacNeil comic strip

Rita MacNeil comic strip

Rita MacNeil comic strip

Other comics in the Canadian music bio series:

Nash the Slash

Stompin’ Tom Connors

The Sugar Shoppe

Bryan Adams vs. Michael Bublé

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