Editor’s note: This story has been updated.
Inuk pop singer Kelly Fraser is dead, according to multiple news and media sources.
No cause of death for the 26-year-old singer from Sanikiluaq has been announced, according to the Winnipeg Free Press, who report Fraser was living in Winnipeg. Her Facebook page has been updated to state “Remembering Kelly Amaujaq Fraser.”
The singer was most recently crowd-sourcing for her third album to be called Decolonize, which she planned to release in May 2020. Fraser said she planned to incorporate traditional Inuit drumming and throat singing combined with rock and electronic music for the new work.
Fraser shot to fame in 2013 when her version of Rihanna’s Diamonds –sung in Inuktitut — became a YouTube sensation. The video has garnered more than 378,000 views to date.
Her second album Sedna was nominated for a Juno in 2018 in the Indigenous Music Album of the Year category. Fraser was handed an Indspire youth award in September.
As part of Nunavut Hitmakerz with her producer and manager Thor Simonsen, Fraser visited communities, bringing recording equipment for the musically inclined to produce their own music and record it.
“We hold workshops. Inuit already know how to make music, we give them tools and a safe space to do it,” she told Nunavut News in 2017 while discussing the release of Sedna.
Donations are being accepted to support Fraser’s family. The GoFundMe page reads, “we are so saddened by the passing of Kelly Fraser.” Funds are being collected to support Kelly’s siblings (Jessie, Max and Rachel.)
“We anticipate they will need help with food, transportation, basic needs and other costs associated with a memorial service,” wrote the organizer of the fundraiser.
According to the donation page it is stated the sisters are gathering in Winnipeg.
To donate please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-kelly-frasers-sisters.