Joanne Shenandoah, a famous Native American singer-songwriter who performed in front of world leaders and on high-profile venues, has died. She was 63 years old.
Shenandoah died Monday night in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Joanne’s beautiful decorating voice, strong Iroquois traditions, unequivocal elegance and grace grace make her a leading role model and a highly respected music matriarch in the Native American communities and mainstream music community,” the agency said. “She sang with deep roots by her ancestors and flawlessly blended her oral traditions into contemporary folk, country and Americana forms.”
Shenandoah was a member of the Oneida Nation Wolf Clan and grew up in central New York State.
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She debuted in 1989, and her career has included numerous albums and collaborations.
Shenandoah has won 14 Native American Music Awards, which is more for an artist. She is one of the artists who contributed to “Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth,” which won a Grammy Award for Best Native American Music Album in 2006 and was twice nominated for a Grammy for her own recordings.
According to his website, Shenandoah performed before the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela and played at venues including the White House and Carnegie Hall.
Shenandoah has been suffering from health problems in recent years, including liver problems after he was infected with bacteria.
She is survived by her husband, daughter, grandson and two sisters.
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