Pegi Young, the American singer-songwriter and ex-wife of Neil Young has passed away at 66 years old.
The musician died on New Year’s Day after a yearlong battle with cancer, according to a statement posted on Pegi’s Facebook page. She was “surrounded by her friends and family in her native California” when she passed.
“We request that the families’ privacy be respected at this time,” the statement continued.
With great sadness, we confirm that on January 1st, after a yearlong battle with cancer, Pegi Young – mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, musician, activist and co-founder of the Bridge School – passed away surrounded by her friends and family in her native California. We request that the families' privacy be respected at this time.
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Pegi is survived by her children with Neil — son Ben, and daughter Amber — as well as her ex-stepson Zeke and two grandchildren.
Her music career started in 1983 as a member of The Pinkettes, the backing vocalists for her then-husband Neil’s Rock-a-Billy Shocking Pinks tour. She continued to sing backup for her husband, including a performance at the Academy Awards in 1994, until 2007, when she released her self-titled debut album.
Pegi went on to release four more albums, including 2017’s Raw, which was recorded following her divorce from Neil in 2014 after 36-years of marriage. She also toured and performed with her band The Survivors.
However, the majority of her time was spent focused on the Bridge School, an educational program she founded with Neil in 1986, aimed at helping children with severe physical and speech impairments.
“It’s grown way behind my expectations,” Pegi said in 2017 (via Billboard). ”I really didn’t know what to expect, but the global impact that we’re having… We’ve had people that come from different countries around the world and they come and mentor at the Bridge School for a year and get different opportunities for ongoing professional development and then go back to their countries and begin to affect change there.”
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