Multiple media outlets have reported that Cree country music artist Shane Yellowbird from Maskwacis passed away on April 25 at age 42.
Yellowbird attended school, played hockey and rodeoed in Ponoka. He used to compete in steer wrestling, tie down roping and team roping.
He was one of the headliners at the Ponoka Stampede in 2008.
n 2007, he was named the Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. He also received the Chevy Trucks’ Rising Star of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards and his “Pickup Truck” was one of the year’s 10 most played country songs.
Yellowbird won two Native American Music Awards for Best Country Recording for Life Is Calling My Name in 2011 and won Best Country Recording for It’s About Time in 2012.
On April 25 Yellowbird’s sister Chelsea Yellowbird posted on her Facebook page,”My brother … He has found peace and will be welcomed by many of our loved ones.”
Shane was known to have epilepsy. The cause of death has not been released.
A candlelight vigil is being held on April 27 and 28 at the Edmonton Legislature Stage, starting at 8:30 p.m. on both evenings. There will be a prayer, a drum group, and various solo artists singing.
A funeral for Shane will be held on April 29 at the Four Nations Arena in Maskwacis, starting at 10 a.m.