Canadian singer Kelly Fraser has died. She was 26.
Her cause of death is unknown at this time.
Born in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, Fraser’s big break came in 2013 when her cover of Rihanna‘s “Diamonds” in Inuktitut (her native language) went viral. However, she emerged on the music scene years before.
Fraser first began playing the guitar at age 11, according to The Winnipeg Free Press, and created her first band at age 15.
Fraser released her first album Isuma in 2014, which sold over 1,000 copies, according to her website.
The album, which featured themes of folk music and contemporary pop, helped Fraser build a reputation in the music industry.
In 2017, Fraser released her second album Sedna.
“I want to make an album that blends traditional and modern music in both Inuktitut and English,” Fraser said on her website.
“I want to strengthen Inuit pride and sing about my own experiences of growing up in the Arctic. I want to inspire young people everywhere that, no matter who you are, you can succeed,” Fraser added.
For Fraser, music was more than just a career, it was something that made her happy.
“Making music, singing, performing, and teaching others is what I love,” Fraser continued. “It makes me happy and helps my own self-esteem, too. I want to do everything I can for a better Nunavut.”
Sedna was nominated for best Indigenous music album at the 2018 Juno Awards. She was also a recipient of the 2019 Indspire Award.
Our love and prayers go out to Kelly Fraser’s family and friends, fellow Inuit, and the many people that were touched by her life and music.
Rest in peace, Kelly Fraser. We will miss you. pic.twitter.com/L1WeI1HBqe
— The JUNO Awards (@TheJUNOAwards) December 27, 2019
The Juno Awards paid tribute to Fraser on Twitter, writing, “Our love and prayers go out to Kelly Fraser’s family and friends, fellow Inuit, and the many people that were touched by her life and music. Rest in peace, Kelly Fraser. We will miss you.”
Since her death, a GoFundMe has been created to cover her funeral arrangements.
“We are so saddened by the passing of Kelly Fraser. This is a fundraiser on behalf of Jessie, Max and Rachel, sisters of Kelly. As you might know there are many hidden costs associated with the passing of a loved one,” the GoFundMe reads.
The fundraiser has raised over $40,000 at this time.