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Last Updated: Monday, 17 April 2006, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
Tributes to singer Calum Kennedy
Calum Kennedy was described as a "major figure" in Scottish music
Tributes have been paid to one of the best-loved Gaelic singers and entertainers of his generation.

Calum Kennedy, 77, was described as "iconic" and "inspirational".

Born in the Lochs area of Lewis in 1928, he originally set out to be a doctor but his talent for singing took him on another path.

In 1955 he won the Mod Gold Medal at the age of 26. The pinnacle of his career was in the late 60s and early 70s when he had his own TV programme.

He composed songs including Lovely Stornoway, but probably will be best remembered for singing the Gaelic love song Peigi a Ghraidh.

Mr Kennedy died in a nursing home in Aberdeen on Saturday night.

Radio Scotland presenter Robbie Shepherd, a close friend, said Mr Kennedy was a "major figure in his time".

He had this incredible voice and incredible way of presenting the Gaelic song that was heart-stopping
Phil Cunningham

He said: "He bridged the gap between the old traditional Gaelic song and the way of presentation. He was immaculate on stage.

"He could hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

"I think his legacy is a lad who did an awful lot for his culture."

Musician Phil Cunningham said that Mr Kennedy was his first exposure to Gaelic music.

He said: "I realised he was a totally iconic figure in Gaelic singing.

"I have been happy over the last few years to have made his acquaintance and been friendly with him.

"He had this incredible voice and incredible way of presenting the Gaelic song that was heart-stopping."



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