The first day of the new year was clouded in Montréal by the death at just age 37 of Lhasa de Sela. The Mexican-American singer made an indelible mark on the world music scene over the past decade.
The adoptive Quebecer’s career took off in Montréal in 1997 following the release of her album La Llorona, created with musician Yves Desrosiers. This debut CD, in Spanish, was a critical and commercial success in Canada and France, followed by a number of other countries. Lhasa won a Juno Award for La Llorona, which sold over 700,000 copies.
Her next album, The Living Road (2003), which includes songs in French and English, confirmed Lhasa’s success. Its release was followed by a series of highly successful concerts around the world. The London Times chose The Living Road as number 3 on its list of the best world music albums of the decade. In 2005, Lhasa was singled out as best artist of the Americas at the BBC World Music Awards.
Her self-titled album Lhasa, in English, her native language, was released in the spring of 2009.
She collaborated during her career with artists such as the Tindersticks, Patrick Watson and Jérôme Minière. Songs by Lhasa were featured in the television series The Sopranos and the documentary I Am Because We Are, produced by Madonna.