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Canadian Singer Stompin’ Tom Connors Dies

Canadian country-folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose toe-tapping musical spirit and fierce patriotism established him as one of Canada’s biggest cultural icons, has died. He was 77.

Connors passed away from natural causes at his home Wednesday evening. The musician was best known for songs “Sudbury Saturday Night,” ”Bud the Spud” and especially “The Hockey Song,” a fan favorite played at hockey arenas around North America.

Although wide commercial appeal eluded Connors for much of his four-decade career, his songs are regarded as veritable national anthems thanks to their unabashed embrace of all things Canadian.

Connors is said to have begun his musical career when he found himself a nickel short of a beer at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ontario, in 1964 at age 28. The bartender agreed to give him a drink if he would play a few songs, and that turned into a 14-month contract to play at the hotel. Three years later, Connors made his first album and garnered his first hit in 1970 with “Bud The Spud.” Hundreds more songs followed, many based on actual events, people and towns he had visited.

He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1996, one of the country’s highest honors. He also had his own postage stamp.

[Source: Billboard.com]

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