Blind Guitar Wizard Jeff Healy Dies

Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey died aged 41 on Sunday, the eve of his new album release, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

One of Canada's best known blues and jazz musicians, Jeff was best known for his 1988 album 'See The Light.'

Healey lost his vision as a baby to a rare form of retinal cancer and he battled the disease throughout this life. As a toddler, he picked up a guitar and, setting it on his knees, developed his distinct sound and playing style.

The Jeff Healey Band was a sellout act across Canada and sold over a million albums in the US. During the course of his musical career, he shared the stage with music titans Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Harrison and B.B. King.

But Healey's passion was not always in rock music and later in his career branched into jazz, especially from the golden years of the genre in the 1920s and '30s. He released several jazz CDs and had a collection of some 25,000 78 rpm jazz records.

At the time of his death, Healey was about to unveil his first rock/blues CD in eight years. 'Mess of Blues' is scheduled to be released in Europe later this month.

Healey had a long fight with cancer. In 2007, he underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths from his lungs and legs. He is survived by his wife and two children, 13-year-old Rachel and three-year-old Derek.

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