Renowned singer Renée Martel, considered the “queen of Québec country music,” died on Dec. 18 after a severe bout of pneumonia unrelated to COVID-19.
Les Productions Leclerc, a Québec performing arts company, announced the 74-year-old singer’s death online: “Few of the artists in Québec have as impressive a track record as that of Renée Martel,” according to the company’s post, originally in French and translated to English.
“With a career spanning more than 65 years and an exceptional track record, she has long left an indelible mark on the history of Québec music with a repertoire that combines both modernity and respect for tradition, having adapted to the times and embraced each decade.”
Born in 1947 in Drummondville, Qué., Martel moved to Montréal in 1967 and was named the “Discovery of the Year” at the 1968 Gala des artistes. By 1969, her first three singles – Liverpool, Je vais à Londres and Viens changer ma vie – made her a household name.
In addition to winning several awards throughout her career, Martel was honoured on one of five stamps (Scott #2767) issued in 2014 as part of Canada Post’s “Canadian Country Artists” series (SC #2766-70).