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Trans soul singer and pioneer Jackie Shane dead at 78

Trans soul singer and pioneer Jackie Shane dead at 78

Singer Jackie Shane, lying leisurely and fabulously on a red couch between two metallic pillows

Pioneer trans soul singer Jackie Shane has died aged 78, according to her label Numero Group.

Shane, a blues singer from Nashville, moved to Toronto in the 60s.

Numero Group tweeted: ‘Rest In Power, Ms. Shane.’

Shane’s life was as vivid as her voice

Shame became one of the originators of the Canadian town’s R&B scene throughout the 60s.

Born in 1940 and raised in the South, Shane moved to Toronto as a young adult and began to perform in clubs across Canada.

She may have been born in Nashville, but considered Toronto her ‘home’.

Speaking to CBC Radio’s q, she said:’ One cannot choose where one is born, but you can choose your home.

‘I chose Toronto, I love Toronto.’

She added: ‘I love Canadian people, I consider myself a part of them.’

Any other way

She blasted into the scene with her belting Top 10 Regional hit, Any Other Way, in 1962.

With her vivid voice and riveting look, she turned down label deals with Motown and Atlantic.

‘They tried to talk to me, but I had been schooled about Berry Gordy taking the entertainers’ money,’ she told The Guardian in 2017.

‘I wasn’t going to get involved in that.’

Her career was fraught with misgendering 

Throughout most of her active music career, media outlets frequently wrote Shane as a ‘man’ who wore feminine clothing.

When the star appeared onstage during her heyday in the 60s, she’d regularly remind the audience how lucky they are be there.

Between lusty roars and megaphone-grade notes, she’d say: ‘This is the closest to Jesus Christ some of you will ever get!

‘I got so much to work with here, I’m a little piece of leather but well put together!’

It was thought her self-confidence stemmed from being the only black trans performer in the business.

50 years on, still strong

Despite rising to prominence playing on Toronto’s Yonge Street, in 1971, she vanished.

It’s been nearly 50 years since, but Jane’s legacy lives on.

A collection of Shane’s songs, called Any Other Way, was nominated for a Grammy for best historical album this year.

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