Death of World Music Star Lhasa de Sela

Last night, we learned of the untimely death of Lhasa de Sela after a 21-month battle with cancer at the young age of 37. She was born in Big Indian, New York, just a few hours from New York City, but she chose Montreal as her home. One of four daughters born to a Mexican father and American mother, Lhasa spent her childhood travelling the US and Mexico with her family in a converted school bus. She moved to Montreal at 19 and began singing in bars, creating material for her debut album, the Spanish-language "La Llorona," which was released in 1998. She left her music career temporarily after touring for two years and went to join her sisters in France, working in a traveling circus as a musician and helping to put up and take down the big top. She settled for a time in Marseilles, where she laid the groundwork for her second album, "the Living Road," which the Times of London named one of the 10 best World albums of the decade. Trilingual, English, French and Spanish, the singer received many awards in Canada and Quebec. She released her third album entitled "Lhasa," in April of 2009.

Over the Christmas holidays, I saw the advertisements for "Lhasa" in the Metro and heard her hauntingly beautiful voice on TV and radio. Unaware of her ongoing battle with cancer and unable to get her song out of my head, I told myself that I would see her perform this year, as she was said to be a captivating and mesmerizing performer. Sadly, my husband told me last night that there were unconfirmed reports that she had succumbed to the disease at her home in the late hours of Jan 1. Those reports were confirmed later in the evening. The local media has said that it snowed for 40 consecutive hours after her death.

To have an idea of her talent, take a peak at De Cara a la Pared (4 min):


La Rédaction | January 6, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Ouf... je viens de réécouter "J'arrive à la ville" sur l'album Living Road. Comme toujours après qu'un artiste soit décédé, son oeuvre prend une nouvelle ampleur. Là, l'intensité est plus intense, si cela se peut. Un très grand talent que nous n'oublierons pas.

Heather | January 6, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Je suis entièrement d'accord avec toi! Sois la bienvenue dans le monde des bloggueurs. | February 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

She was always one of those special people who totally represent Montréal to me: her multi-lingualism; her unique artistry; her beauty; and yes, the touch of the circus-wanderer in her. I saw her perform only once, by accident at Bobards on St. Laurent, and she was in a word (okay two words) simply mesmerizing. It literally hurts that she's gone so young, but I can only hope that she and Didi Fortin are doing some amazing music together wherever they are...

Heather | February 4, 2010 at 10:21 PM

She certainly was special. She had a gift that takes most people their entire lives to achieve. You were so lucky that you had the chance to see her in concert. I've heard her performances were so moving. H

compare it yourself | May 28, 2010 at 5:27 AM

She had charmed so many fans through everlasting music.
Rest in Peace Lady .all tributes well paid

Heather | May 28, 2010 at 6:40 AM

So many people still miss her. I can't believe that we lost her so young. She seems so emblematic of someone who followed her heart in deciding what she wanted to be.

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