Yesterday, surrounded by his wife, daughter, brother-in-law, and friends, musician Haydain Neale died at Mount Sinai Hospital following a seven-month fight with lung cancer.
Lead singer of jacksoul, Neale was born in Hamilton and left his university studies in 1994 to form one of Canada’s best-known funk-soul groups. In August of 2007, Neale was involved in a major vehicle crash in which a car collided with the scooter he was riding, sending him to hospital with serious brain injuries. After extensive rehab, Neale had improved enough to start working again with jacksoul. The first single released since the accident, “Lonesome Highway,” debuted earlier this month, and the album SOULmate, which began production almost three years ago, is scheduled for release on December 1.
As with his rehabilitation, Neale’s struggle with cancer remained very private.
“Through all these challenges, Haydain’s sense of humour and love of music were ever present,” said his wife Michaela in a family statement. “He constantly brightened the room with his singing and his smile. His joyful presence and beautiful voice will be missed by us all.”
Photo courtesy of Sony BMG.