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Canadian songwriter Shirley Eikhard, known for Grammy-winning 'Something to Talk About', dies aged 67

Shirley Eikhard, the singer-songwriter who wrote Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 hit ‘Something to Talk About,’ has died. She was 67 years old.

Eikhard’s publicist, Eric Alper, confirmed her death to the Associated Press, telling the outlet that she passed away on Thursday of complications from cancer at Headwaters Health Care Center in Orangeville, Ontario.

The Canadian native has written songs for Cher, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, Ginette Reno, Alannah Myles and Rita Coolidge. However, she was best known for “Something to Talk About”, which earned Raitt Best Pop Vocal Performance at the 1992 Grammy Awards and was also nominated in the Record of the Year category.

Shirley Eikhard, the singer-songwriter who wrote Bonnie Raitt's 1991 hit 'Something to Talk About', has died aged 67.

Shirley Eikhard, the singer-songwriter who wrote Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 hit ‘Something to Talk About’, has died aged 67.
(Courtesy of Eric Alper via AP)

Eikhard wrote the blues-rock hit in 1985 and offered it to Murray, who was interested in recording it but declined after its producers rejected the song. However, Murray went on to title his 1985 album “Something to Talk About”, although it did not include Eikhard’s music.

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Eikhard offered the song to other artists, who declined to record it. Years later, Raitt left a voicemail on Eikhard’s phone saying that she had just finished recording. The American singer later said that she discovered the song on a demo that Eikhard sent her and admired it.

“I got home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie… I was numb,” Eikhard recalled in a press release for the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The song was the first single from Raitt’s 1991 album, “Luck of the Draw”, and spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #5.

“Something to Talk About” inspired the title of the Warner Bros. 1995, starring Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid.

During her career, Eikhard released 18 full-length albums between 1972 to 2021 and taught herself to play guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, chromatic harmonica, sax, banjo and mandolin.

She passed away on Thursday due to complications from cancer in Orangeville, Ontario.

She passed away on Thursday due to complications from cancer in Orangeville, Ontario.
(Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

At age 15, Eikhard wrote “It Takes Time”, which was recorded by country singer Murray in 1971 and later became a hit in Canada. In 1972, Eikhard released his self-titled debut album. The title track of Atkins’ 41st studio album, “Pickin’ My Way”, was one of Eikhard’s early hits.

Cher and Eikhard co-wrote the frenetic dance track “Lovers Forever” for the 1994 film “Interview with the Vampire”, but it was not included on the final soundtrack. However, Cher did include “Lovers Forever” on her 2013 album “Closer to the Truth”.

Eikhard wrote “Born With the Hunger” for Cher’s 2000 album, “not.com.mercial”. It was one of only two songs on the album not written by Cher.

She sang the theme song for the 1976 Stanley Kramer film “The Domino Principle” starring Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen, as well as the theme song for “The Passion of Ayn Rand” in 2000.

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Eikhard was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for “Something to Talk About” in 2020. Raitt joined Eikhard in a virtual induction ceremony that was broadcast on Canada’s Global News network.

On Friday, the “I Can’t Make You Love Me” hitmaker paid tribute to Eikhard on Instagram.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Shirley Eikhard, the wonderful Canadian singer/songwriter who wrote my hit, ‘Something to Talk About,'” Raitt wrote alongside a black and white photo of Eikhard.

“My condolences go out to her family and friends. You can read about her life and music at the link in my bio. Another, gone too soon. I will be forever grateful for our beautiful connection and friendship.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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