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Parachute Club’s Billy Bryans dead at 62

Parachute Club founder and Juno-award winning musician Billy Bryans has died after a long battle with lung cancer, his family said in a statement. He was 62.

Bryans’ death came just four days after a benefit concert in his honour at Toronto’s Lula Lounge. Proceeds from the event will now go his family.

“RIP Billy, you will be forever missed,” singer Alex Cuba, who performed at the benefit, wrote on a Facebook page.  

Bryans was known as a drummer, producer and promoter, especially of Cuban music. He got his start in Quebec, where he was born, as a member of MG & the Escorts.

He later moved to Toronto, where he performed in several bands and co-produced Downchild Blues Band’s hit song Flip, Flop and Fly.

He formed The Parchute Club with Lorraine Segato in 1982 and later co-wrote the group’s massive hit Rise Up. The group eventually won four Juno awards.

Bryans later successfully lobbied the Junos to include a worldbeat category.

Bryans was born Sept. 15, 1949, in Montreal. Details of his funeral have not yet been released.