Canada’s “First Lady of the blues,” Salome Bey has died at age 86. (Toronto Public Library image).

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, dies at age 86

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, has died. She was 86.

Born in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 10, 1933, Bey toured the U.S., Europe and Canada as part of the sibling act Andy & the Bey Sisters.

In 1964, Bey moved to Toronto where she played the jazz club circuit, and soon made her mark on Canada’s music and theatre scenes.

Bey wrote and starred in “Indigo,” a cabaret show on the history of Black music, which won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

She also earned a Grammy nomination for her work on the cast album of the Broadway show, “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God.”

She recorded two albums with renowned jazz pianist Horace Silver, and released albums of her live performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Other accolades include being made an honorary member of the Order of Canada in 2005, a 1992 Toronto Arts Award and a 1996 lifetime achievement from the Black Theatre Workshop of Montreal.

Salome began showing signs of dementia in 2004 and lived at the Lakeside Long-Term Care Centre in Toronto until her death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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