Blind Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey has died in Toronto after a battle with cancer. He was 41.
Born Norman Jeffrey Healey, he became one of Canada's premier blues and jazz musicians who is perhaps best known for his 1988 album See The Light, which included the hit single Angel Eyes. He was also nominated for a Grammy for the song Hideaway..
Healey lost his vision as a baby to a rare form of retinal cancer and he battled the disease throughout this life.
As a toddler, Healey picked up a guitar and, setting it on his knees, developed a distinct sound and playing style and by the time he was a teenager, he had formed a four-piece band called the Blue Direction. His best known work came when he formed the Jeff Healey Band several years later with bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen.
At the time of his death, Healey was about to unveil his first rock/blues CD in eight years. Mess of Blues is scheduled to be released in Europe in March and in Canada on April 22.
Healey had a long fight with cancer. In 2007, he underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths from his lungs. He had earlier had two sarcomas removed from his legs. He is survived by his wife and two children, 13-year-old Rachel and three-year-old Derek.