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'He just had a gift': Maritime musicians mourn death of Bruce Guthro

Bruce Guthro, the beloved Cape Breton musician who was the lead vocalist of the Celtic rock band Runrig, has died at 62, according to multiple sources.

Guthro’s professional music career spanned nearly 30 years. He released his first solo album, "Sails to the Wind," in 1994, which was co-produced by Bill McNeil.

“He just had a gift, a real gift of being able to tell a story in a song and songs that the average person could relate to,” said McNeil.

“There’s not too many songs that Bruce did that someone couldn’t say ‘that reminds me of my story.’”

Guthro grew up in Sydney Mines. His father worked in the coal mines, which gave him a special connection to the choral ensemble Men of The Deeps, which is composed of former coal miners.

“Just a couple of years ago Bruce's brother Carl joined the choir, so that bond became even stronger,” said Stephen Muise, the choir director for the Men of The Deeps.

“We got to share the stage with Bruce and he would open our shows and he was so proud of his brother, the coal miner.”

The musician won several East Coast Music Awards and hosted the TV show Songwriters Circle where he spoke to fellow Canadian music legends like Alan Doyle, Jim Cuddy and Matt Minglewood.

“He always made it fun. He made it like a family of songwriters and entertainers. He was amazing at that,” said Minglewood.

Fellow musician J.P. Cormier said, first and foremost, Guthro will be remembered as a friend.

“He was a buddy, a true one. He was always there when people needed him,” said Cormier.

“He didn't want to burden other people with his problems. He was very private, but even still hearing this today it stabs you in the heart,” said Minglewood.

Guthro leaves behind his two children, Jodi and Dylan, and his wife Kim and was living in the Halifax area at the time of his death.

Tributes to the late musician poured in on social media Wednesday.

Click here for a photo gallery of images from Guthro's career.

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