Rita MacNeil was a Canadian country and folk singer from the community of Big Pond on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island.
Her biggest hit, "Flying On Your Own", was a crossover Top 40 hit in 1987 and was covered by Anne Murray the following year, although she had hits on the country charts throughout her career. In the United Kingdom, MacNeil's song "Working Man" was a No. 11 hit in 1990.
In 1990, she was the bestselling country artist in Canada, outselling even Garth Brooks and Clint Black. She was also the only female singer ever to have three separate albums chart in the same year in Australia.
Throughout her career MacNeil would receive five Honorary degrees, release 24 albums, win three Juno Awards, four CCMA awards, eleven ECMA awards, become inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and named to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. (Wikipedia)
Relatives, friends and fans of Rita MacNeil gathered at a funeral service Monday for the singer-songwriter in her Nova Scotia hometown of Big Pond, where her musical talents and her sense of humour were remembered.
People packed St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church to pay tribute to the 68-year-old singer, whose cremated remains sat in a teapot alongside a portrait of her.