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Pegi Young, musician, ex-wife of Neil Young, dies at 66

Singer Pegi Young is photographed in New York's Central Park, April 17, 2007. | AP Photo/ Jim Cooper

Singer Pegi Young is photographed in New York's Central Park, April 17, 2007. | AP Photo/ Jim Cooper

Pegi Young, the musician and activist who co-founded the Bridge School with her ex-husband, Rock Hall of Fame member Neil Young, died on Tuesday after a year-long battle with cancer. She was 66.

Young’s death was confirmed via a statement on her official Facebook page.

“With great sadness, we confirm that on January 1st, after a yearlong battle with cancer, Pegi Young – mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, musician, activist and co-founder of the Bridge School – passed away surrounded by her friends and family in her native California,” the post read. “We request that the families’ privacy be respected at this time.”

Neil and Pegi Young who were married from 1978 to 2014, shared two adult children together: son Ben, 41, and daughter Amber, 35. (Neil, 73, was remarried earlier this year to actress/director Daryl Hannah.)

Pegi was motivated to co-found the Bridge School in 1986 after she couldn’t find an appropriate educational program for Ben, who has cerebral palsy.

The Bay area educational facility caters to students with severe speech and physical impairments between preschool and fifth grade. It places an emphasis on “developing augmentative and alternative communication systems” to help students communicate and participate in classroom activities.

One of the program’s main fundraisers is the Bridge School Benefit Concert, featuring acoustic performances from Young himself and some of the biggest names in rock music. Past guest performers have included David Bowie, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Bob Dylan.

Jayme Deerwester, USA Today
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