Métis Country Music Great Ray St. Germain Has Died

The Winnipeg-born singer-songwriter and TV/radio host had been living with Parkinson's disease for years, but last performed just three weeks ago

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 26, 2024

Ray St. Germain — the Métis country music great and TV/radio host who was dubbed "Winnipeg's Elvis" — has died. He was 83.

After living with Parkinson's disease for several years, St. Germain died yesterday (June 25) at Deer Lodge Centre, surrounded by family and friends, as per his wife Glory's announcement posted to Facebook. 

"I was blessed to have 50 years with my amazing husband Ray St. Germain," Glory wrote. "Together, we spent our lives filled with music, love, and laughter with our five children." St. Germain is survived by those children, as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Born in Winnipeg in 1940, St. Germain began performing as a rockabilly and country musician as a teenager. He would go on to share the stage with the likes of Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers, as well as being inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. 

The musician was also inducted into the Aboriginal Order of Canada in 1985, the Order of the Sash — Saskatoon and Prince Albert in 1986, and the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2013, he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba — the province's highest honour — and in 2018, he was presented with an honorary diploma by RRC Polytech (formerly known as Red River College).

St. Germain performed as recently as three weeks ago, performing a rendition of the Elvis Presley song "It's Now or Never" from his wheelchair at an honourary street renaming, which saw St. Michael Road (the street the artist grew up on) in Winnipeg's St. Vital neighbourhood renamed Big Sky Country Way after Big Sky Country, the nationally syndicated Global Television Network TV show St. Germain hosted for 13 years.

That was just one of over 600 TV hosting gigs he held over the years, in addition to serving as program manager with NCI-FM Radio, where he hosted the Métis Hour X2 program on Saturday mornings for 23 years.

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