Kelly Fraser arrives on the red carpet at the Juno Awards in Vancouver, Sunday, March, 25, 2018. Inuk singer Fraser, whose popular YouTube cover of Rihanna helped inspire a Juno-nominated career of songwriting and activism, has died at 26. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Kelly Fraser arrives on the red carpet at the Juno Awards in Vancouver, Sunday, March, 25, 2018. Inuk singer Fraser, whose popular YouTube cover of Rihanna helped inspire a Juno-nominated career of songwriting and activism, has died at 26. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Inuk singer Kelly Fraser, whose Rihanna cover in Inuktitut inspired a music career, dies at 26

The pop musician, who was living in Winnipeg, died earlier this week

Inuk singer Kelly Fraser, whose popular YouTube cover of Rihanna helped inspire a Juno-nominated career of songwriting and activism, has died at 26.

The pop musician, who was living in Winnipeg, died earlier this week, according to friends. The cause of her death has not been revealed.

Fraser, who was raised in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, picked up a guitar at 11 and formed her first band four years later.

Much of her early work involved performing English pop hits in the Inuktitut language. Her viral cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” exposed her to many new listeners, leading to her debut album in 2014.

But it was her sophomore release “Sedna” that garnered Fraser wider acclaim, earning her an Indigenous music album nod at the 2018 Juno Awards.

Fraser was also an advocate for music education in Indigenous communities, as the co-founder of Nunavut Hitmakerz, which provides workshops in Inuktitut to underfunded communities.

A GoFundMe campaign to support her siblings has been launched.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ district administration centre. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district gets started on new budget amid unknowns

Ministry’s per-student funding increase doesn’t fully cover pay raises for teachers and support staff

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo school district reports COVID-19 case at Fairview Elementary

April 9 exposure the fourth case reported in SD68 since spring break

The old career resource centre, formerly Quennell School, was demolished last week. (Photo courtesy Erik Warners)
Old career centre and school demolished in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

School district says building was decaying and was unsuitable for use

Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s two new pumper trucks, slated to be delivered in the fall, will have battery-powered idle-reduction technology. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo’s newest fire trucks will come with idle-reduction technology

Pumper trucks arriving from U.S.-based manufacturer will use battery power to save fuel

A raccoon prowls near a porch in north Nanaimo last fall. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Attack on dog shows raccoons can be nasty creatures

We had to take our black lab to the emergency vet for treatment, says letter writer

The old career resource centre, formerly Quennell School, was demolished last week. (Photo courtesy Erik Warners)
Old career centre and school demolished in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

School district says building was decaying and was unsuitable for use

AstraZeneca vaccine is becoming available at B.C. pharmacies outside the Lower Mainland, as of Friday, April 9. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
Immunization program expands to five Nanaimo pharmacies

Residents 55-65-year-old can get their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Firefighters, including those from Cranberry volunteer department, are battling a blaze in the Nanaimo River Road area. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Dwelling destroyed, two taken to hospital after Nanaimo River Road blaze

Firefighers arrived to find dwelling and garage fully engulfed in flame at property south of Nanaimo

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

Most Read