Jeff Healey, who was a blind rock and jazz musician from Canada, has passed away at the age of 41. He died Sunday, March 2 in a Toronto hospital. The Grammy-nominated Healey was the leader of the Jeff Healey band, who rose to stardom in the 1980’s with the hit album “See The Light”, which featured one of my all time favorite songs “Angel Eyes”. Healey also co-starred in the 1989 movie Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze.
Jeff had lost his eye sight at the age of 1 due to a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma. His eyes were surgically removed and artificial replacements were put in. It was this rare form of cancer that he fought throughout his whole life and which killed him. Due to his blindness, Jeff taught himself to play the guitar by laying it across his lap, he started playing the guitar when he was three years old. He had a wonderfully unique playing style.
Healey had undergone many operations in recent years to remove tumors from his legs and lungs. His death comes just weeks before the release of his first rock album in eight years titled “Mess of Blues”.