Folk legend Ian Tyson, known for ‘Four Strong Winds’ as part of Ian & Sylvia, dies

Canadian folk legend Ian Tyson, best known for the hit single “Four Strong Winds” as one half of Ian & Sylvia, has died at age 89.

The Victoria native died Thursday at his ranch in southern Alberta following a series of ongoing health complications, according to his manager Paul Mascioli.

Tyson began his music career in the late 1950s, first hitchhiking across the country from Vancouver to Toronto and then getting swept up in the city’s burgeoning folk movement in the bohemian Yorkville neighbourhood.

That’s where he met a kindred spirit named Sylvia Fricker and they began a relationship — onstage and off — eventually leading to their breakthrough second album “Four Strong Winds” in 1964.

They would continue releasing music together for years, but as their career began to stall in the ’70s the couple grew apart and divorced in 1975.

Tyson built a solo career as a country music singer in the years that followed, with his self-released 1987 album, “Cowboyography” becoming a surprising word-of-mouth hit that helped earn him a Juno award.

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