Loved ones gather to pay tribute to acclaimed Celtic singer Raylene Rankin

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HALIFAX - Family and friends gathered today at a church in Halifax to pay tribute to singer Raylene Rankin, a founding member of acclaimed Cape Breton group The Rankin Family.

The 52-year-old mother of one died Sunday after an 11-year battle with breast cancer.

She formed the group, then known as The Rankins, more than 20 years ago with her four siblings — John Morris, Jimmy, Cookie and Heather.

Together, they brought an award-winning mix of traditional Celtic tunes and contemporary originals to stages around the world, snapping up Juno Awards and other accolades along the way.

A second funeral service for Rankin is planned for Friday in her hometown of Mabou on the west coast of Cape Breton island.

Rankin's obituary says she will then be laid to rest at St. Mary's Cemetery in the small community.

Organizations: The Rankin Family, The Rankins

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Cape Breton, Mabou

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