Joanne Shenandoah, a celebrated Native American singer-songwriter who performed before world leaders and on important stages, has passed away. He was 63 years old.
Shenandoah, a “Native American music matriarch,” died Monday in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications from an abdominal bleeding, the Native American Music Awards & Association reported on its website.
“Joanne’s beautiful beautifying voice, strong Iroquois traditions, unmistakable elegance, and courteous grace made her a prominent role model and highly respected musical matriarch among Native American communities, as well as in the wider music community.” the organization said. “He sang with deep roots from his ancestors and flawlessly incorporated his oral traditions into contemporary American, country and folk music formats.”
Shenandoah was a member of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation and grew up in the central state of New York.
He made his recording debut in 1989 and has since released numerous albums and collaborations.
He won 14 Native American Music Awards, more than any other artist. She contributed to “Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth,” which won the Grammy for Best Native American Music Album in 2006, and was nominated twice for a Grammy for her own music.
According to his website, Shenandoah sang in front of the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, and played venues such as the White House and Carnegie Hall.
In recent years, he had health problems, including liver problems after a bacterial infection.
She is survived by her husband, a daughter, a grandson and two sisters.