Myles Goodwyn, lead singer of the iconic Canadian rock band April Wine, passes away at the age of 75.

Myles Goodwyn, who fronted the popular Canadian classic rock band April Wine from its formation in 1969 until earlier this year, has died aged 75. His death was announced by his publicist, who did not give the cause but heralded Goodwyn’s “distinctive and immediately recognisable” voice and prolific songwriting.

After losing his mother to brain cancer as a child and living with his two brothers in Nova Scotia, Goodwyn founded the band. Reflecting on his childhood, he recalled that despite all being male, there was a lack of affection and communication in their home. Feeling lost, Goodwyn turned to music which ultimately became his salvation.

In 1971, April Wine’s first album, which featured brothers David and Ritchie Henman and their cousin Jim, was released in Montreal. The following year, their second album, On Record, propelled them to success with the hit song “You Could Have Been a Lady,” originally by Hot Chocolate. The band went on to tour with artists such as Ike and Tina Turner, Badfinger, and Stevie Wonder. While the Henman brothers eventually left the band, other musicians joined and Gerry Goodwyn remained as the band’s constant member.

Jim Clench, Brian Greenway, Myles Goodwyn and Gary Moffet of April Wine, performing in 1979.

The broach church of fans were pleased by the band’s diverse and energetic style that incorporated elements of hard rock, country, and funk, as well as epic balladry. As a result, they achieved success in Canada, with their album Stand Back (1975) reaching platinum status and their fifth album The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy hitting No 1 in 1976. They also had the opportunity to open for the Rolling Stones in 1977. It took some time for them to achieve success in the US, but their album Harder…Faster in 1979 was their first to crack the Top 100 on the charts. Their biggest hit came in 1981 with the powerful ballad Just Between You and Me and its accompanying album The Nature of the Beast, which achieved platinum status in both the US and Canada.

The band’s success declined in the mid-1980s and tensions arose among its members. Lead singer, Goodwyn, relocated to the Bahamas. In 1985, April Wine disbanded and Goodwyn released a solo album under his own name in 1988. The band eventually reunited and released a comeback album, Attitude, in 1993. They have since released three more albums, the latest being Roughly Speaking in 2006.

Goodwyn spent several months in the hospital the next year because of internal bleeding caused by his chronic alcoholism. After his health improved, he went to a rehabilitation center. Goodwyn reflected on this experience, stating that there was one particular moment that altered his path: realizing his own mortality and the fact that he was dying without even realizing it.

April Wine continued to tour, but eventually, Goodwyn declared his retirement in 2022 due to the challenges posed by his diabetes. He stated, “My health is my top priority and touring has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Therefore, I am officially ending my touring days.” He then went back to reside in Nova Scotia.

Goodwyn also published two books: a 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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