Buffy Sainte-Marie has announced that she’s retiring from live performances.
A statement announcing her decision cites factors including travel-induced health concerns and performance-inhibiting physical challenges.
In a statement on social media on Thursday, Sainte-Marie described having arthritic hands and a shoulder injury that “have made it no longer possible to perform to my standards.”
Due to a combination of contributing factors including travel-induced health concerns and performance-inhibiting physical challenges, Buffy Sainte-Marie is regretfully announcing her retirement from live performance. #buffysaintemarie #BSMcarryiton pic.twitter.com/ERn0du3fwt
An upcoming music festival in British Columbia has already announced plans to replace her.
The City of Burnaby says American indie-folk band Fleet Foxes will take Sainte-Marie’s spot in the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, which takes place Aug. 12. “We, along with all of her fans, wish her all the best for her health,” the city said in a statement.
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The singer-songwriter suggested in September that her performances in Ottawa and Vancouver were part of what were “probably going to be her last tour.”
Sainte-Marie said at the time she was cutting back on flying after a rough summer that included a bout with COVID-19 and being stranded at the airport at least twice as airlines experienced countless delays and cancellations.
“I’m not saying that I’m never going to perform again,” she said. “It’s not like: ‘She’s going to retire.’ I’m not in the business world. I’ve retired many times without ever calling it retirement.
“I’m just going to hang it up.”
The 82-year-old Cree artist and activist has roots in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan and was adopted by an American family in Massachusetts.
In 1982, Sainte-Marie became the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar as co-writer of Up Where We Belong for An Officer and a Gentleman.
She has also won multiple Juno awards and the Polaris Music Prize in 2015 for her album Power in the Blood.
She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1995.