Pegi Young, a musician, activist and co-founder of the Bridge School, has died. She was 66.
The singer-songwriter, who was also Neil Young’s ex-wife, had been battling breast cancer for over a year. She passed away on New Year’s Day “surrounded by her friends and family in her native California,” according to an official statement posted on Young’s Instagram and Facebook page.
Born Margaret Morton, Young made her musical debut as a backup singer, touring alongside her former husband for almost a decade before embarking on a solo career fronting the band Pegi Young and the Survivors. Since the release of her self-titled debut album in 2007, Young has released four other records. Her final LP, Raw, arrived in 2017.
Besides music, Young was also known for her philanthropy. In 1986, Young and her then-husband, founded the Bridge School, a non-profit educational program that assists children with severe speech and physical impairments. Their son, Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy, inspired its founding.
Since the school’s inception, Young has helped organize and host the annual Bridge School Benefit concert, which has featured the likes of Elton John, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and more.
RIP, Pegi Young. Listen to her last album, Raw, below: