Haydain Neale, a singer/songwriter with the Canadian group jacksoul, and former president of the Songwriters Association of Canada, died today at the age of 39.

Neale, who suffered serious injuries when his Vespa scooter collided with a car in Toronto in 2007, lost a seven-month battle with lung cancer, his family announced.

“Through all these challenges, Haydain’s sense of humor and love of music were ever-present,” said his wife, Michaela. “He constantly brightened the room with his singing and his smile. His joyful presence and beautiful voice will be missed by us all.”

Neale’s band, jacksoul, earned a Juno award for R&B/Soul Recording in 2007 for its “mySOUL,” and had a previous Juno win in the same category in 2001. The band had planned to release its first album in three years – “SOULmate” – in December. The album had 10 songs written before Neale’s accident and recording was completed over a six-month period this year.

“I think music can heal and educate,” Neale said of the new album. “If jacksoul never makes another recording, I’ll always be proud that our music was a positive force for not just love between couples, but love of self, community and the world.”

The band had previously announced all proceeds from the album would go to the Haydain Neale Family Trust.

An interment with a private family gathering will take place later this week.

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