Kate McGarrigle


TORONTO (AP) - Canadian folk singer and songwriter Kate McGarrigle, best known for performing with her sister Anna, has died of cancer. She was 63.

McGarrigle's brother-in-law, Dane Lanken, said the singer died at her Montreal home Monday night surrounded by her sisters, Jane and Anna, and her children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, also singers.

He said McGarrigle had been battling cancer since the summer of 2006. He said the cancer started in her small intestine and spread to her liver.

Kate and Anna, known as the McGarrigle Sisters, began their careers performing at Montreal coffeehouses in the 1960s with a group called the Mountain City Four. They got their break in the 1970s, when their songs were covered by numerous artists, including Linda Ronstadt, who used "Heart Like a Wheel" as the title song to one of her albums.

In 1975 they made their first record, "Kate and Anna McGarrigle," which brought them critical acclaim and additional famous covers by artists including Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins and Billy Bragg.

Their own well-known releases included "The Work Song," "Cool River" and "Lying Song."

Kate McGarrigle received the Order of Canada in 1994, one of the country's highest honors.

McGarrigle was once married to American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Her son, Rufus Wainwright, recently canceled an upcoming tour, citing an illness in the family.

Born in Montreal, the famous singing duo grew up in the Laurentian Mountains village of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, Quebec. There, they learned the piano from the village nuns.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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May all the beautiful moments
of her life be blessed. I will
never forget Kate.


She was part of one of the most wonderful acts/families/life forces that we have ever known. Did not find out until recently.

For Kate...your singing warmed
the hearts of so many.


Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell among the wonders of the earth; for my larger self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other side of pain...on the other side of darkness.

Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine that touches your skin, a tropical breeze upon your face, the hush of joy within your heart and the innocence of babes in mothers arms.

I am...

My wife, 2 kids in their 20's and I saw Kate & Anna at the Barrymore in Madison, Wisconsin--it truly was an event and moved our entire family. None of us have ever forgotten those songs and that moment. We speak of it often and we will miss you. Our sympathy to your family. Charles Bongers, Appleton, Wisconsin

I had the incredible good fortune to see Kate McGarrigle perform with Rufus and Martha at Radio City Music Hall in 2008, something I had hoped for since I first saw Rufus and Martha in May of 2002 at the Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis. As a survivor of breast cancer (2004), I so respected and admired how brightly Kate indeed did burn in the last years of her life. Rufus, Martha, Anna, all of you have been so generous to share your experiences of Kate's last days on earth. It felt as if you...

A truly wonderful soul has passed through our world, unique, feisty, true to her roots, a remarkable talent to be reckoned with. For all who have loved her, her spirit and music will live on and continue to grace our lives. Deepest condolences to her family.

From Bruges, Belgium,
I am mourning for more than a week and the mourning doesn't stop. You know: I grew up with the McGarriglesound and their musical heritage will never leave me. I was preveliged to see the sisters here in Bruges some 10 years ago and last year Martha came to my backyard for singing BMFAH. What a tiny little world we are living in!!!!