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Renowned musician and former April Wine singer Myles Goodwyn dead at 75

Canadian artist best known for helping to launch April Wine onto the international stage
Canadian musician Myles Goodwyn, the former lead singer of April Wine, has died at age 75. Goodwyn poses for a portrait while promoting his memoir “Just Between You and Me,” in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan

Myles Goodwyn, the legendary Canadian musician and songwriter who shot to stardom as the lead singer of April Wine, has died at age 75.

His publicist Eric Alper said Goodwyn died Sunday in Halifax. No cause of death was announced.

Alper described Goodwyn as one of the great songwriters of the classic rock era, who helped propel April Wine to international success and paved the way for other Canadian rock acts.

“April Wine was kind of leading all of it because they were breaking through on American rock and roll radio a little bit earlier than everybody else was,” he said in an interview.

“And the fact that they had just so many hits and sold out arenas and places in the U.S. and around the world just showed them that we can kind of compete on our own level.”

April Wine has sold 10 million recordings worldwide and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2010. The band was also added to Canada’s Walk of Fame this fall.

The group formed in Halifax in 1969 and consisted of Goodwyn, his friend Jim Henman, and Henman’s cousins David and Ritchie Henman.

After moving to Montreal, the band would go on to record a steady stream of hit songs in the 1970s and early 1980s including “You Could Have Been a Lady,” “You Won’t Dance With Me,” “Roller,” and “Just Between You and Me.”

Their 1975 album Stand Back was the first by a Canadian band to sell more than 100,000 copies. Their 1978 album First Glance would be their first gold album outside Canada, while 1981’s The Nature of the Beast would help them attain platinum status on both sides of the border, according to the band’s website.

In later years, Goodwyn released several blues recordings, including the Juno-nominated “Myles Goodwyn And Friends Of The Blues,” as well as an autobiography titled “Just Between You And Me: A Memoir.”

Alper, who has represented him in recent years, described Goodwyn as a “straight shooter” and a “breath of fresh air” who retained a keen interest in the music business.

Alper said Goodwyn stepped away from the band earlier this year due to health issues and no longer wanting to “live out of a suitcase,” but continued to perform and work with other musicians.

“I’m just so sad, because his spirit and his energy of still wanting to write the great rock and roll song, and the great Blues song, was still in him and he loved collaborating with people to have that happen,” he said. “I’m going to miss him terribly.”

Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge wrote on X — formerly Twitter — to express sadness at Goodwyn’s death and offer condolences to his loved ones.

“Myles Goodwyn led April Wine for over 50 years, bringing us hit Canadian rock music and touring relentlessly,” she wrote.

“Myles, thanks for the songs we’ll keep playing all over town.”

Canadian rocker Randy Bachman, founder of the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, described Goodwyn as “a great singer, songwriter, guitar player and creator.”

“His songs will live on forever,” Bachman wrote in an email. “Many of his songs are among my favorite of all time.”