Pegi Young Dies at 66 After Cancer Battle
Musician and activist Pegi Young died of cancer yesterday at the age of 66, a post on her official Facebook page confirms.
"With great sadness, we confirm that on January 1st, after a yearlong battle with cancer, Pegi Young – mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, musician, activist and co-founder of the Bridge School – passed away surrounded by her friends and family in her native California," according to the statement. "We request that the families' privacy be respected at this time."
Born Margaret Morton on Dec. 1, 1952, Young released five albums over her decade-long recording career. She also provided background vocals on numerous albums and tours with her ex-husband Neil Young, whom she married in 1978 and divorced in 2014.
In 1986, Young co-founded the Bridge School, which is dedicated to educating children with severe speech and physical impairments. She was inspired to do so after being unable to find a suitable educational plan for the couple's son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy.
"It's grown way behind my expectations," Pegi said of the school in 2017. "It's having a global impact. That was my dream, but to actually be realizing it is huge." The Youngs hosted a star-studded Bridge School Benefit concert to raise money to fund the school every year except one between 1986 and 2016; artists as diverse as Metallica, Elvis Costello and Pearl Jam appeared.
Understandably, many of the lyrics on 2017's Raw, Pegi Young's last album, dealt with the fallout from her divorce. "I’m certainly not the only one to go through a late-in-life divorce, and I’m not going to be the last. But in my case, it was so painful because we’d been together for so long," she said at the time. One of the tracks was titled "You Won’t Take My Laugh Away From Me," and it ends with the sound of her actually cracking up. "My laugh has always been rather distinctive,” Pegi explained. “It’s something I can hold on to that’s still mine.”