Shirley Eckard, the singer-songwriter who wrote Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 hit Something to Talk About, has died. She was 67 years old.
Ecard publicist Eric Alper confirmed her death to the Associated Press, telling the outlet that she died Thursday of complications from cancer at Headwaters Health Care Center in Orangeville, Ontario.
The Canadian native has written songs for Cher, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, Ginette Reno, Alannah Myles, and Rita Coolidge. However, she is best known for “Something to Talk About”, for which Raitt won Best Vocal Performance at the 1992 Grammy Awards and was also nominated in the Record of the Year category.
Eckard wrote a blues rock song in 1985 and offered it to Murray, who was interested in recording it but declined after her producers rejected the song. However, Murray went on to title her 1985 album Something to Talk About, even though it did not include Eckhard’s song.
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Eckard showed the song to other artists, who all declined to record it. Years later, Raitt leaves a voicemail on Eikhard’s phone saying she just recorded it. The American singer later said that she discovered the song on a demo Eckard sent and liked it.
“I came home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie… I was numb,” Eckard recalled in a Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame press release.
The song was the first single from Raitt’s 1991 album “Luck of the Draw” and spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number five.
Something to Talk About was inspired by the title of the 1995 Warner Bros. movie starring Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid.
Over the course of her career, Eckard has released 18 full-length albums between 1972 and 2021 and taught herself to play guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, chromatic harmonica, sax, banjo, and mandolin.
At the age of fifteen, Eckard wrote “It Takes Time”, which was recorded by country singer Murray in 1971, and later became a hit in Canada. In 1972, Eckard released her self-titled debut album. The title track of Atkins’ 41 studio album, “Pickin’ My Way” was one of Eckhard’s first hits.
Cher and Eikhard co-wrote the frantic dance track “Lovers Forever” for the 1994 movie “Interview with the Vampire,” but it didn’t make the final soundtrack. However, Cher included “Lovers Forever” on her 2013 album Closer to the Truth.
Eckard wrote the song “Born With the Hunger” for Cher’s 2000 album, “not.com.mercial”. It was one of only two songs on the album that Cher did not write.
She sang the theme song to the 1976 Stanley Kramer movie “The Domino Principle” starring Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen, as well as the theme song to “Ayn Rand’s Passion” in 2000.
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Eckard was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for “Something to Talk About” in 2020. Wright joined Eckard at a virtual induction ceremony that aired on Canada’s Global News Network.
On Friday, the “I Can’t Make You Love Me” hitmaker paid tribute to Eckhard on Instagram.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Shirley Eckard, the wonderful Canadian singer/songwriter who wrote my hit song, Something to Talk About,” Wright wrote alongside a black and white photo of Eckard.
“My condolences to her family and friends. You can read about her life and music at the link in my bio. Another one, she passed away early. I will be forever grateful for our beautiful relationship and friendship.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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