Acclaimed Inuit singer-songwriter, Kelly Fraser, passed away at age 26 in her current home city of Winnipeg on Christmas Day. A cause of death was not revealed.
She had been working on her third album, Decolonize, which she planned to release in May 2020.
Fraser shot to fame in 2013 with her cover of Rihanna’s Diamonds, sung in Inuktitut.
It became a hit, garnering more then 278,000 views. Her second album titled Sedna (Nuliajuk) was nominated for a Juno in 2018 in the Indigenous Music Album of the year category.
Earlier this year, Fraser received the 2019 Indspire Award, recognizing First Nations, Inuit and Metis Individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement. Both her advocacy of Inuit communities and musical blend of folk, hip-hop and EDM gained her a faithful following.
Messages from fans and people who personally knew her have come pouring through Fraser’s social media pages.
“I hope her legacy and strength of spirit will continue to inspire others to achieve their dreams, despite everything that may stand in the way. Rest in Peace, Kelly” wrote Veronica Vinje.
Jennifer Apedaile wrote, “So much gratitude for all your efforts Kelly…for all the beauty, courage, truth telling and resilience. May we all continue to be inspired by you and your powerful leadership.”
Cody Cyote also shared a heart-felt message remembering Fraser to his social media.
ELMNT FM sends its condolences to Kelly’s family, friends, and fans.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Fraser’s three sisters. The link to the website can be found here.