Just Weeks After Her Music Was Nominated for a Grammy, Jackie Shane Has Died

Soul singer and trans pioneer Jackie Shane, has died at the age of 78. Just weeks after the 61st Grammy awards where her music was nominated for an award for the very first time, record label Numero Group has announced the death of Shane. No cause of death has been disclosed.



Shane, who grew up in Nashville, is a black trans artist who was a star on the rise in the 1960s, selling out shows and nightclubs in Toronto. During a time in the world when being transgender didn’t even have a definition, many couldn’t grapple with the idea of gender identity, but Shane never had an issue with fans nor during her performances.

She was part of a revolution that included people from all walks of life. But in 1971 she disappeared from the music scene and moved back to her home state of Tennessee to care for her mother. For many years she was believed to be dead, but she was alive and her music continued on with those who were lucky enough to access it.



After the Numero Group learned of the singer’s existence they began on a compilation of her music and produced the Grammy-nominated Any Other Way, almost 50 years after the singer had retired. Unfortunately, the album did not receive an award.



Numero Group A&R scout Douglas McGowan told Billboard:

Jackie didn’t do what she did for anyone’s else’s approval. She was here to entertain, but also to educate and inspire. She lived entirely on her own terms. She taught me so many things about self-respect and grace under difficult circumstances. I believe that she was a visionary who will never be forgotten, and will be recognized by more and more people as one of the greatest soul singers of all time. I’ll never know anyone else like Jackie.

Shane was an unsung hero in the LGBTQ+ and music community who gifted the world her music.



Rest in power, Ms. Shane. Thank you for your music.

I leave you with the lyrics to Any Other Way:

Here you come again
And you say that you’re my friend
But I know why you’re here
She wants to know how I feel
Tell her that I’m happy
Tell her that I’m gay
Tell her I wouldn’t have it
Any other way

People have been talking
Since we been apart
And when I pass I hear them whisper (ha, ha)
“There he goes with a broken heart”
But when you see my baby
Here is what you say
Tell her I wouldn’t have it
Any other way

That’s all I got to say, my friend
Now we better say goodbye
I think…

h/t: Billboard

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