Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:39am ET by  
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Rufus Wainwright's mother loses cancer battle

Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle has died, aged 63, after losing her battle with cancer.

It was reported last week that McGarrigle was "critically ill" after her son, the singer Rufus Wainwright, cancelled his Australian tour to be with her.

Her doctor, Robert Tabah, confirmed the singer's death to the Guardian, saying: "Kate McGariggle passed away yesterday (Monday 18 January) as a result of sarcoma, a form of cancer that she was first diagnosed with three and a half years ago." The late singer apparently passed away at her Montreal home, where she was surrounded by family and friends.

Dr Tabah paid tribute to McGarrigle, saying: "Kate was a remarkable and warm woman, who pursued everything in life with humour and grace." He said that McGarrigle, despite being "gravely ill", played a three-and-a-half-hour show at the Royal Albert Hall last month. "I was amazed by her courage and stamina."

McGarrigle performed widely with her sister, Anna, for more than three decades, recording 10 albums. She was also well-known for being the matriarch of a musical family, the Wainwrights. McGarrigle was the mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, and the ex-wife of Loudon Wainwright lll.

Watch Rufus Wainwright perform a moving version of 'Hallelujah' live at The Fillmore:


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