Kelly Fraser arrives on the red carpet at the Juno Awards in Vancouver, Sunday, March, 25, 2018. Inuk singer Fraser, whose popular YouTube cover of Rihanna helped inspire a Juno-nominated career of songwriting and activism, has died at 26. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Inuk singer Kelly Fraser, whose Rihanna cover in Inuktitut inspired a music career, dies at 26

The pop musician, who was living in Winnipeg, died earlier this week

Inuk singer Kelly Fraser, whose popular YouTube cover of Rihanna helped inspire a Juno-nominated career of songwriting and activism, has died at 26.

The pop musician, who was living in Winnipeg, died earlier this week, according to friends. The cause of her death has not been revealed.

Fraser, who was raised in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, picked up a guitar at 11 and formed her first band four years later.

Much of her early work involved performing English pop hits in the Inuktitut language. Her viral cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” exposed her to many new listeners, leading to her debut album in 2014.

But it was her sophomore release “Sedna” that garnered Fraser wider acclaim, earning her an Indigenous music album nod at the 2018 Juno Awards.

Fraser was also an advocate for music education in Indigenous communities, as the co-founder of Nunavut Hitmakerz, which provides workshops in Inuktitut to underfunded communities.

A GoFundMe campaign to support her siblings has been launched.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

T.W. Paterson column: Hudson Bay Co.’s Dr. Benson marched to a different drummer

Chief Factor James Douglas soon banished him to the Columbia River

Cowichan resident with dementia breaks silence on stigma in Alzheimer Society campaign

“I don’t think I’ve encountered stigma as much as I’ve encountered a lack of understanding”

Cowichan’s Achurch named all-star MVP

LMG goalie and teammate Scott help VISL beat FVSL

Indian Day School survivors can now submit claims for $10K-$200K in compensation

Anyone who is part of the class action is being encouraged to start the process now

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read