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April Wine frontman Myles Goodwyn dies, aged 75

Myles Goodwyn, frontman of Canadian rock band April Wine, has died at the age of 75.

News of his death was confirmed by his publicist, who hailed his Goodwyn’s “distinctive and immediately recognisable” voice and prolific songwriting. No cause of death has been announced.

April Wine was formed in 1969, with its original line-up consisting of Goodwyn, brothers David and Ritchie Henman and their cousin Jim. They moved to Montreal and released their self-titled debut album in 1971 before following it up with ‘On Record’ next year, which became their commercial breakthrough and featured a successful cover of Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Could Have Been A Lady’.

The Henmans later left the band and Goodwyn became a mainstay of the line-up, continuing April Wine with various other musicians. Their blend of hard-rock with elements of country and occasionally funk lent them wide appeal as they continued to rise in popularity, enabling them to earn their first platinum album in their home country with ‘Stand Back’ in 1975. Its follow-up, ‘The World’s Goin’ Crazy’, topped the charts.

It took April Wine slightly longer to crack the US market, but they did so with 1979’s ‘Harder… Faster’ and then scored their biggest hit in 1981 with ‘Just Between You And Me’, which was taken from the album ‘The Nature Of The Beast’.

By the middle of the decade, the band’s fortunes were waning and they parted ways in 1985. Goodwyn released a solo album in 1988 but the band later reformed for the 1993 album ‘Attitude’. Their last album together was 2006’s ‘Roughly Speaking’.

Goodwyn was hospitalised for months in 2007 after suffering internal bleeding caused by long-term alcoholism. He later went to rehab when he had recovered.

April Wine continued touring until last year when Goodwyn retired, saying: “Touring has been very difficult in recent years because of my diabetes and my health comes first, so unfortunately, my touring days are officially over.”

Goodwyn also wrote two books, the memoir Just Between You and Me, and the novel Elvis and Tiger. Earlier this year he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is survived by wife Kim Goodwyn and their two children, plus another child from a previous marriage.

 

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