Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey died today (March 2) in Toronto after battling cancer. He was 41. Blind since infancy due to a rare form of cancer, Healey was attracting local attention for his talent

Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey died today (March 2) in Toronto after battling cancer. He was 41.

Blind since infancy due to a rare form of cancer, Healey was attracting local attention for his talent on guitar, which he played laying across his lap while seated, by the time he was a teenager.

His Arista debut with his Jeff Healey Band, 1988's "See the Light," was a quick hit, spawning the No. 5 Billboard Hot 100 smash "Angel Eyes." A memorable role in the 1989 Patrick Swayze film "Road House" followed, as did rock hits such as "Full Circle," "I Think I Love You Too Much," "How Long Can a Man Be Strong" and "Heart of an Angel."

In recent years, Healey transitioned to albums featuring early jazz music from the 1920s-1940s. But he had completed work on his first rock album in eight years, "Mess of Blues," which is due March 20 in Europe and April 22 in the United States.

Healey also served as a radio DJ on shows for CBC Radio and Toronto's Jazz-FM. The artist is survived by his wife Cristie and two children. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.