We’re deeply saddened to hear news of the passing of Norma Waterson. Norma was a leading light of British folk music, a voice like no other. Whether it be as part of The Watersons, (alongside brother, Mike, sister, Elaine (“Lal”), cousin, John Harrison and latterly, husband, Martin), with her family group of Waterson : Carthy, (with Martin, daughter Eliza, Saul Rose and Tim Van Eyken), with “folk supergroup” Blue Murder, or in her solo work, Norma’s voice and presence was always a unique and special one.
After releases on Hannibal in the 90’s (her eponymous solo album was nominated for the 1996 Mercury Music Prize), her first solo traditional album for Topic Records, ‘Bright Shiny Morning,’ came in 2001. Norma was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for her services to Folk music. In 2010, ‘Gift,’ the first of two wonderful, acclaimed collaborations with daughter, Eliza. In 2016, Norma received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and in 2018, a second collaboration with Eliza (and The Gift Band), ‘Anchor,’ her final Topic recording.
Norma Waterson leaves behind not only a loving, devoted family but a legacy like no other in British folk music. The hearts of everyone here at Proper are with Martin, Eliza and their family and friends at this difficult time.