Shirley Eikhard, the prolific award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter has died at the age of 67. The musician passed away at the Orangeville Hospital in Ontario, Canada, surrounded by family.
Eikhard was widely celebrated for writing Bonnie Raitt’s iconic 1991 hit, “Something To Talk About.” Sixteen years earlier, in 1971, Eikhard scored her first songwriting credit at the age of 15 when her song “It Takes Time” was recorded by country singer Anne Murray. The song later became a hit in her native Canada. Eikhard released her self-titled debut album the following year.
As Billboard points out, “Raitt released ‘Something To Talk About’ as the first single from her 1991 album, Luck of the Draw. The track was a hit and spent a total of 20 weeks on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 hit, peaking at No. 5 on the tally. The tune would ultimately win Raitt the best pop vocal performance, female award at the 1991 Grammy Awards, and was also nominated in the record of the year category.”
In an interview with Canadian Beats Media earlier this year, Eikhard reflected on the chance encounter with Raitt. “If Bonnie Raitt had never recorded my song, I would have eventually left the music business as I’m very shy in nature. I’m not really good at promoting myself which is what new artists have to do every day so I’m so grateful the big break came for me before all of that.”
With Cher, Eikhard’s track “Born With the Hunger” was be rerecorded and released for the icon’s 2000 album Not Commercial. Eikhard also wrote “Lovers Forever” with Cher for the 1994 film Interview With the Vampire; the track is also featured on Cher’s 2013 studio album Closer to the Truth.
Eikhard’s songwriting prowess also earned her two JUNO Awards for best country female artist in 1973 and 1974. “Something to Talk About” led to her induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in October 2020. Reflecting on that honor, Eikhard said in that same interview, “Being a member of the Canadian Songwriter Hall of Fame is the ultimate pinnacle for me. To know something I wrote so many years ago is now among other songs by my heroes, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and Bachman / Cummings is such an honor and I’m humbled by the thought.”