TORONTO (UPI) -- Canada's blind rock and jazz guitar player, songwriter and singer Jeff Healey, 41, died of cancer in a Toronto hospital Sunday night, his Web site announced.
Richard Flohil, Healey's publicist, told the Canwest News Service Healey had canceled a concert near Ottawa just days ago to enter St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment of lifelong cancer outbreaks in his legs and lungs.
"At that point, we didn't want to say that Jeff was basically dying, although we all knew he was." Flohil said. "What we've lost is a virtuoso musician."
Healey was adopted as an infant and lost his eyes at age 1 to retinoblastoma. He began playing guitar at the age of 3, and was playing clubs at 19, the report said. His son also has the same problem but with today's improvements in medicine his outlook is much better.
In 1988, his Grammy-nominated album "See the Light" included the hit single "Angel Eyes," and in 1990, he earned the Juno award for entertainer of the year.
"Mess of Blues," Healey's first rock/blues album in eight years, is scheduled for release in Europe March 20, and in Canada and the United States April 22, Flohil said.
Healey is survived by his wife Cristie, two children, father and stepmother and two sisters.