Pegi Young, Musician and Ex-Wife of Neil Young, Dead at 66
By Desiree Murphy
Pegi Young, a musician and the ex-wife of Neil Young, died on Tuesday in California following a yearlong battle with cancer. She was 66.
"With great sadness, we confirm that on Jan. 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," a message on her Instagram page reads. "We request that the families' privacy be respected at this time."
Neil first met Pegi in the mid-'70s while she was working as a waitress near his ranch. They were married for 36 years after tying the knot in 1978, and share two kids together -- Amber, 35, and Ben, 41.
The 73-year-old singer penned many songs about their love story over the years, including "Harvest Moon" and "Unknown Legend."
"I used to order just to watch her float across the floor," Neil sings in the latter, written about their early relationship. "She grew up in a small town / Never put her roots down."
Pegi, born Margaret Morton and a singer and songwriter herself, got her first big break after singing backup vocals for Neil as a member of The Pinkettes. Then, in 2007, she released a self-titled solo LP, which was followed by the release of Foul Deeds (2010), Bracing for Impact (2011), Lonely in a Crowded Room (2014) and Raw (2017), with her band, Pegi Young & the Survivors.
When she wasn't busy with music, Pegi devoted much of her time to the Bridge School in Mountain View, California, which she co-founded in 1986 to help children like her son, Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy.
"It's grown way behind my expectations," Pegi said of the institution last year, via Billboard. "I really didn't know what to expect, but the global impact that we're having... we've had people that come from different countries around the world and they come and mentor at the Bridge School for a year and get different opportunities for ongoing professional development and then go back to their countries and begin to affect change there."
She added, "It's having a global impact. That was my dream, but to actually be realizing it is huge."