October . 1 . 2012
Raylene Rankin, a founding member of the Rankin Family and a pioneer of contemporary Celtic music, died in Halifax on Sunday morning.
The five Rankin siblings — Raylene, Heather, Cookie, Jimmy and John Morris — released two albums in 1989 and 1990 independently. EMI Music re-released Fare Thee Well Love in 1992, which was the group’s big break. The album went quadruple platinum, sold more than 500,000 copies and topped the Canadian pop charts, making the Rankin Family a household name coast-to-coast.
Before disbanding in 1999, the group released six critically acclaimed albums, won 15 East Coast Music Awards, six Juno awards, three Canadian Country Music Association Awards and sold more than two million albums worldwide. The family reunited in 2007 for a tour and recorded their last album together, These Are the Moments, in 2009. In 2007, Rankin performed with Susan Crowe and Cindy Church and recorded the album Rankin, Church & Crowe: Live at Alderney Landing. Rankin also recorded two solo albums — Lambs in Spring in 2004 and All The Diamonds, released this summer.
A sad day for the many who were touched by Raylene Rankin's passion, music and life. Her contributions to the Canadian music scene will live on. The ECMA sends thoughts, condolences and best wishes to her family and loved ones.