04/17/2013 11:13 EDT | Updated 04/17/2013 11:13 EDT

Rita MacNeil Christmas: The Best Music Moments From Her Holiday Special (VIDEOS)


Christmas in Canada will never be the same.

Singer-songwriter Rita MacNeil, famous for her ethereal voice, TV variety show and one-hour homespun holiday special "Rita MacNeil's Christmas," has died at the age of 68.

Twitter reactions to MacNeil's death have focused on the popular Christmas show, with one mourner tweeting, “RIP Rita. You are always a part of my Christmas.”

"Look like Rita MacNeil has gone to that great Christmas special in the sky," tweeted another.

Loved for its celebration of Canadian music and ability to blend musical styles, the star-studded holiday special showcased homegrown talent, including Grammy-award winning sensation Patti LaBelle and Canadian pairs gold medal figure-skating champions, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier.

"I'll never lose my love for Christmas," MacNeil said. "I love the magic of it, the goodness, the hope, and of course, the music."

MacNeil's Christmas album, "Once Upon a Christmas," earned her a gold record -- for sales of more than 50,000 --- within weeks of its 1993 release.

Scroll through the slideshow to see some of Rita MacNeil's best Christmas music moments.

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