Joanne Shenandoah, the famous Native American singer-songwriter who has performed in front of world leaders and on prominent stages, has passed away. She was 63 years old.

The Native American Music Awards & Association posted on its website that Shenandoah, described as “the musical matriarch of Native America,” died Monday night in Scottsdale, Ariz., From an abdominal hemorrhage.

“Joanne’s beautiful, beautifying voice, strong Iroquois traditions, unmistakable elegance and courteous grace have made her a leading role model and a highly respected musical matriarch among Native American communities as well as the traditional music community in general.” , said the organization. “She sang with the deep roots of her ancestors and perfectly integrated her oral traditions into contemporary folk, country and American formats.”

Shenandoah was a member of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation and grew up in central New York State.

She made her recording debut in 1989, and her career continued with numerous albums and collaborations.

Shenandoah won 14 Native American Music Awards, the highest number for a single artist. She was among the artists who contributed to “Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth,” which won the Grammy Award for Best Native American Music Album in 2006, and was twice nominated for the Grammys for her own recordings.

According to her website, Shenandoah has performed for the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, and has performed at venues such as the White House and Carnegie Hall.

Shenandoah had suffered from health problems in recent years, including liver problems after a bacterial infection.

She is survived by her husband, daughter, grandson and two sisters.



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