Blind Guitarist Healey Dead at 41

Celebrated Canadian musician recalled for versatility
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 3:25 PM CST

Acclaimed guitarist Jeff Healey died of cancer at 41 yesterday after battling the disease throughout his life, the Globe and Mail reports. Healey, who lost his eyesight as a child to retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, sold more than a million albums in the US, racking up hits such as “Angel Eyes,” “See the Light,” and a cover of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

"He was a virtuoso guitar player, and they don't come along every five minutes," said Healey’s publicist. "He had an enormous range of musical genres he could play with great skill." Healey taught himself to play the guitar as a child, when he developed his distinctive technique of  holding the instrument on his lap, the AP reports. He had been planning to tour this spring in support of a new album, “Mess of Blues.” (Read more Jeff Healey stories.)

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