Award-winning blues singer and activist Candye Kane has died after an eight-year cancer battle. She was 54.
Born Candace Hogan in California, she first came to attention as a porn star in the 1980s, using her income to keep her children and fund her first blues album after she progressed through opera, punk and country genres.
Kane won a number of awards during a career that saw her appear on 22 albums and contribute tracks to several movie soundtracks.
Best-known by the title of 12th record The Toughest Girl Alive, she was an advocate of personal freedom, LGBT issues and body positivity. She was diagnosed with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer in 2008 but she’d continued to tour until the weeks leading up to her death.
Kane’s son and drummer Evan Caleb Yearsley tells the San Diego Tribune: “She had this healing impact and energy. She supported so many people and stood up for so many causes. Some of her songs were so empowering that they changed peoples’ lives.
“For me, she really is an example of mind over matter. It’s amazing to see any artist do this. But when it’s your mother, it’s extra special.”
Her record label, Delta Groove, say in a statement: “We are deeply saddened. Thank you, Candye, for the unwavering strength and courage you demonstrated in the face of adversity. You truly are an inspiration. We will continue to cherish the years we worked together, as well as the incredible music you left behind. Forever our superhero.”