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

Revelstoke RCMP hand out 59 tickets during driving enforcement campaign

Between Jan. 16 and 19 they handed out 21 speeding relative to conditions tickets

Avalanche closure scheduled, more snow on the way

Roads and weather for Revelstoke Jan. 20

Remembering Revelstoke Ski Club’s long history

The club continues today with more than 130 skiers

Penticton highschool student organizing fundraiser to support local boy’s battle against cancer

Sonja Leboe of Princess Margaret is selling donuts at Walmart on Jan. 24 for Wills Hodgkinson

Driver of speedboat in fatal Shuswap Lake houseboat collision denied parole

Court says Leon Reinbrecht unwilling to accept culpability for “reckless, thrill-seeking behaviour”

Suspect arrested in brazen North Okanagan armed robbery

Employee suffers minor injuries from incident during the middle of the day

Osoyoos RCMP officer charged with indecent act to have RCMP hearing held in-camera

Const. Ryan Fulcher of the Osoyoos RCMP is being investigated internally for an alleged indecent act

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Snowy softball in Sicamous

The 2020 snowpitch tournament took place at Finlayson Park on Jan. 18 and 19.

Secondary dwellings in North Okanagan’s ALR not banned: Ministry

Provincial changes require additional approval for mobile, manufactured homes on farmland in RDNO

Investigation into highway barriers between Summerland and Peachland

Petition to install barriers garners nearly 15,000 signatures in just days

Most Read