Canadian-American singer-songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie is retiring from live performances. The ‘Universal Soldier’ singer announced the cancellation of all shows “in the foreseeable future” this week, with health concerns and physical challenges the deciding factors.
“I have made the difficult decision to pull out of all scheduled performances in the foreseeable future,” the 82-year-old explained in a statement. “Arthritic hands and a recent shoulder injury have made it no longer possible to perform to my standards. Sincere regrets to all my fans and family, my band and the support teams that make it all possible.”
Sainte-Marie inferred that she could make such a decision when speaking to The Canadian Press in September last year. She conceded that her dates in Vancouver and Ottawa would be part of what would “probably going to be my last tour”.
She added: “I’m not saying that I’m never going to perform again. It’s not like: ‘She’s going to retire.’ I’m not in the business world. I’ve retired many times without ever calling it retirement, “Sainte-Marie said at the time. “I’m just going to hang it up.”
In her time, Buffy Sainte-Marie has released various hit singles alongside ‘Universal Solider’. These include ‘Cod’ine’, ‘Until It’s Time for You to Go’, ‘Take My Hand for a While’, ‘Now That the Buffalo’s Gone’, and the cover of Mickey Newbury’s ‘Mister Can’t You See’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘The Circle Game’.
Over the years, many legends have covered Sainte-Marie’s work, including Donovan, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker. Notably, in 1983 she became the first Indigenous North American to win an Oscar when ‘Up Where We Belong’ won ‘Best Original Song’ after being included in An Officer and a Gentleman.