Shirley Eikhard, Songwriter of Grammy-Winning 'Something to Talk About,' Dead at 67

Shirley Eikhard died on Thursday in Orangeville, Ontario after suffering complications from cancer

CANADA - JANUARY 24: A veteran; Shirley Eikhard has learned to survive in the music industry. Yet in her prodigious self-development there's a sense that she's missed something: Her musical world is almost all she knows. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Photo: Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty

Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Rose Eikhard, best known for penning Bonnie Raitt's 1991 Grammy-winning song "Something to Talk About," has died. She was 67.

After suffering complications from cancer, Eikhard died on Thursday at Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ontario, according to her publicist Eric Alper, the Associated Press reported.

Following the devastating news, Alper told PEOPLE Eikhard, "was one of the kindness and gentlest artists I've ever worked with."

"Her heart was always in the music, writing another song, and was beholden to no one - no pressures from the label or the industry," he continued. "When she knew she had written a great one, she knew. The sheer amount of outpouring of love and support from fellow songwriters of here and people who admired her around the globe have been reaching out, and their words are helping get this country through one of the biggest losses in music."

Eikhard was born in Sackville, New Brunswick to parents June Eikhard and Ceci Eikhard who were also musicians. The family relocated to Oshawa, Ontario when Eikhard was a teenager. She was given her first guitar at age 11 before starting to perform the next year at a fiddling festival in Cobourg, Ontario.

CANADA - AUGUST 14: Bonnie Raitt: The Grandstand headliner singled out singer or songwriter Shirley Eikhard as 'one of the most talented women I've ever heard.' (Photo by Mike Slaughter/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Mike Slaughter/Toronto Star via Getty

Eikhard recorded her first song at 15, titled "It Takes Time" which later became a hit in Canada. She went on to get signed by Capitol Records in 1972 and released her first album called Shirley Eikhard, winning her two Juno Awards for County Female Artist of the Year in 1973 and 1974.

Following a brief hiatus, she returned to the music scene and released three albums for Attic Records including Child of the Present, Let Me Down Easy, and Horizons.

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In 1985, Anne Murray was one of the artists who wanted to record Eikhard's "Something to Talk About" but faced rejections from her producers. Several years later, Eikhard received a message from Raitt, 73, who told her she had just recorded the song which became Raitt's first single from her 1991 album Luck of the Draw.

The track spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and later scored Raitt a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in addition to being nominated for the record of the year category.

In October 2020, Eikhard was inducted into the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame before releasing her latest album in 2021, On My Way to You.

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Raitt — who thanked Eikhard during the 1992's Grammy ceremony — paid tribute to the late musician via Twitter on Friday after learning about her death.

Alongside a black and white picture of Eikhard, Raitt wrote, "I'm deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Shirley Eikhard, the wonderful Canadian singer/songwriter who wrote my hit song, 'Something to Talk About.' My condolences go out to her family and friends."

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