Canadian Singer-Songwriter Shirley Eikhard Dead at 67

The Sackville, NB-born artist penned hits for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Cher, Anne Murray and Emmylou Harris

Photo courtesy of Capitol Records

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 15, 2022

Shirley Eikhard, the prolific JUNO Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter who wrote Bonnie Raitt's iconic hit "Something to Talk About," has died. She was 67.

Eikhard passed away today at the Orangeville Hospital, surrounded by "wonderfully caring staff and dear friends," as per her representatives. No cause of death or further information has been publicly disclosed at this time.

Born in Sackville, NB, in 1955 to notable Atlantic Canadian fiddler June Eikhard, Shirley began her music career at the age of 12, supporting her mother in fiddle competitions. While living in Oshawa at 13, the younger Eikhard successfully auditioned for the 1969 Mariposa Folk Festival's New Songwriters' Workshop and gave a star-making performance at the Toronto fest.

The following year, country star Chet Atkins recorded her song "Pickin' My Way" as the title track for his 41st studio album, while 1971 saw Anne Murray record her tune "It Takes Time," which went on to become a national hit.

After signing a deal with Capitol Records and releasing her self-titled debut album the following year, Eikhard also landed a national hit with a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Say You Love Me" and won back-to-back JUNOs for Best Country Female in 1973 and 1974.

Over her long career, Eikhard released 17 studio albums and wrote over 500 songs. Those she didn't keep for herself were recorded by artists like Cher, Emmylou Harris, the Pointer Sisters, Rita Coolidge, Alannah Myles and Kim Carnes.

Raitt's "Something to Talk About" — which earned the American singer a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance — remains Eikhard's quintessential classic, earning her an induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020. She released her most recent record, On My Way to You, independently in 2021.

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