"I know two things about Canada, hockey and Anne Murray."
– Elton John
“Anne Murray is truly Canada’s original Diva. The integrity of her career speaks volumes for the consistent quality of her music decade after decade. I could only dream of having a career like hers. Congratulations Anne!
– Jann Arden
For over thirty-five years, her unique voice and heart-warming style have made her a household name. She has led the way for a generation of Canadian artists who have also made their mark on the world stage including Celine Dion, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Jann Arden, Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan – all following in her footsteps. Anne Murray has continually championed Canadian songwriters, introducing them to a global audience. She has recorded over 400 songs, many composed by Canadian songwriters including: What Would It Take (Bryan Adams), Missing You (Jann Arden), Let There Be Love (Amy Sky), Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell), It Takes Time (Shirley Eikhard), Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot) Now and Forever (You and Me) (David Foster & Jim Vallance) and Song of Bernadette (Leonard Cohen). She has sold close to fifty million albums and has won countless awards. Anne Murray is more than just a Canadian icon: she is an ambassador of Canadian song.
Born in Springhill, Nova Scotia in 1945, Murray was raised as the only girl in a family of five boys. Growing up, Murray was always surrounded by music and at a young age began studying piano and eventually moved on to voice lessons. While attending the University of New Brunswick, where she began pursuing her goal of becoming a physical education teacher, friends convinced her to audition for the local Singalong Jubilee. When Murray was not offered the job, she continued her studies until two years later when she received a call from Jubilee cohost and associate producer, Bill Langstroth, asking her to return for a second audition. In 1966, Murray landed her first singing job. Soon after, Murray was offered a role on the TV show “Let’s Go”, eventually returning to Singalong Jubilee during the summer as a soloist.
Singalong Jubilee‘s musical director, Brian Ahern, convinced Anne to record a solo album and in 1968 Murray released What About Me. Her follow up album This Is My Way was released in 1969, giving Murray her first hit Snowbird, penned by Canadian Gene MacLellan. This Is My Way went on to become the first time in history that an American gold record was awarded to a solo Canadian female performer.
In 1974, Murray received her first Grammy award for ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ for Love Song. By this time, Murray’s life had become a hectic schedule of TV appearances and concerts, both in Canada and internationally. In 1975, Anne took a break from music to marry Bill Langstroth, her producer from Singalong Jubilee.
Anne Murray has received four Grammy awards, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards and 31 Juno Awards. She was the first Canadian singer to reach #1 on US charts, with 11 #1 country hits and 25 of her albums have reached multiplatinum, platinum or gold in the US alone. Murray was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1993 as well as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. She received the Companion of the Order of Canada, which is the highest award given to a Canadian citizen in 1984. Murray was awarded the East Coast Music Association Directors’ Special Achievement Award in 2001 and was a recipient of the Order to Nova Scotia in 2002. Murray received her own star at Hollywood and Vine in 1980 and was in the inaugural group of Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto. As her accolades and legacy attests, Anne Murray’s contribution to Canadian song is unparalleled.