NEWS

Tributes pour in for singer Raylene Rankin

10/01/2012 11:24 EDT | Updated 12/01/2012 05:12 EST
Tributes are pouring in for the Raylene Rankin, a member of the internationally acclaimed Celtic-country band The Rankin Family.

Rankin died Sunday at the age of 52 after an 11-year battle with breast cancer.

Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner paid tribute to the singer in the House of Commons on Monday.

Cuzner lauded the Rankins for taking "Cape Breton music mainstream" about 20 years ago.

"But that's not her only legacy. Raylene was who we are as Cape Bretoners. She showed that resilience with the personal strength in her fight against this incredibly cruel disease," he said.

"She made us all stand taller as Cape Bretoners. I'm proud to call Raylene a friend and I know there's a beautiful voice in heaven's choir today."

Cape Breton composer Leon Dubinsky said her voice was "angelic."

"She's up there with the angels," he said.

Musician Susan Crowe paid tribute to Rankin's family life.

"I think she's left so much more than the music, that of course is immeasurable wouldn't you say? But as a mother and wife and a sibling she leaves a legacy of love that really can't be defined with words," she said.

Funeral services will be held in Halifax on Thursday and in Mabou, Cape Breton on Friday.

Rankin had three bouts of cancer. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. It returned in 2009, and in 2011 she was told the cancer had spread to her liver. She immediately began aggressive chemotherapy.

The Rankin Family performed together for 10 years, during which time they sold more than two million records, won six Juno awards, three Canadian Country Music Awards and 15 East Coast Music Awards.

In 1999, members of the group went their separate ways to pursue different interests.

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