Jackie Shane, a black transgender soul singer who became a pioneering musician in Toronto where she packed out nightclubs in the 1960s, has died. She was 78.
Record label Numero Group confirmed Friday she died in Nashville, Tennessee. The date and cause were not provided.
She became a musical mystery after disappearing suddenly in 1971.
A Canadian Broadcasting Company documentary about Shane renewed interest in the singer, and a few years ago, Douglas Mcgowan from Numero Group tracked her down in Nashville.
She agreed to work with the label on a new release of all her singles and live recordings, called “Any Other Way,” which was released in 2017.
The album was nominated for best historical album at this month’s Grammy Awards, but lost.
Born in the Jim Crow era, Shane was musically inclined since she was a child. By the time she was 13, she considered herself a woman in a man’s body, and her mother unconditionally supported her, according to Bowman’s liner notes.
She played drums and became a regular session player for Nashville R&B and gospel record labels. She began playing gigs in Boston, Montreal and eventually Toronto.
She put out singles and a live album, covering songs like “Money (That’s What I Want),” ‘’You Are My Sunshine” and “Any Other Way,” which was regionally popular in Boston and Toronto in 1963.
Her face is painted on a massive 20-story musical mural in Toronto with other influential musicians like Muddy Waters.