You may remember –as I do—watching ‘Rita and Friends’ on CBC television in the 1990’s. The popular variety show, hosted by Cape Breton’s Rita MacNeil, showcased some of the brightest singers and musicians from Canada and the U.S.  Rita died Tuesday night, following complications of surgery, just shy of her 69th birthday.

Over the course of her musical career, Rita MacNeil recorded 24 albums, many of which went double platinum.  She explored a wide variety of music, from folk to gospel to country and worked her way into the hearts of Canadians with her original songs and powerful voice.

Here is one of Rita MacNeil's greatest hits, 'Flying on Your Own.'