SOCAN member, singer, and professional songwriter Shirley Eikhard died on Dec. 15, 2023 (while SOCAN was on hiatus), at the age of 67 , in Orangeville, ON, after a battle with cancer.

At age 15, Eikhard wrote “It Takes Time,” which became a No. 1 hit on Canadian Adult Contemporary radio charts for Anne Murray in 1971. That resulted in television appearances on The Anne Murray Special and The Tommy Hunter Show on CBC. Eikhard won two JUNO Awards, both for Female Country Artist of the Year, in 1973 and 1974, and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020. Her songs have been recorded by, or written for, the likes of Cher, Amy Grant, Rita Coolidge, and Emmylou Harris. Eikhard released 18 full-length albums between 1972 and 2021, and taught herself to play guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, chromatic harmonica, saxophone, banjo, and mandolin.

But her most widely recognized commercial success came from a song Eikhard wrote in the mid-‘80s while working in Nashville. Written in ab out 20  minutes, and pitched to artists for about seven years, “Something to Talk About” was recorded by Bonnie Raitt for her 1991 Luck of the Draw album, which enabled the American singer-songwriter and guitarist to further a commercial comeback begun two years earlier. “Something to Talk About” reached No. 5 on the Billboard U.S. singles chart, and was nominated for Record of the Year at the 1992 Grammy Awards. Raitt actually earned a Best Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for her recording of the song. “Something to Talk About” even inspired a 1995 Julia Roberts comedy-drama movie of the same name, in which she plays a woman who learns her husband is having an affair.

Eikhard was born in Sackville, NB, to parents who both played musical instruments, and music quickly became her lifelong passion. She was living in Oshawa, ON, by the time of her debut 1969 appearance at the Mariposa Folk Festival, as a young teen. By 1972, she’d shifted from folk to country pop, as she released her self-titled debut album. It included a version of Sylvia Tyson’s “Smiling Wine,” which garnered significant Canadian radio airplay, as did Eikhard’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me,” from 1976’s Let Me Down Easy.

There was a 10-year gap in her recorded output, from 1977 until 1987’s Taking Charge, as Eikhard dealt with voice issues. Still, during that time, she co-wrote a song, “Kick Start My Heart,” that was included on Alannah Myles’s self-titled 1989 hit album. Eikhard’s own first album after Bonnie Raitt’s cover greatly heightened her public profile — 1995’s If I Had My Way — saw her return to familiar musical territory. Then, three years later, she was recording for the legendary Blue Note jazz label. For Eikhard, it only natural, as she’d included Billie Holiday songs in her live performances for years.

As the years rolled on in the 2000s, Eikhard painted, released modest  but quality albums created largely on her own, and dedicated time to social causes, including animal rights and the environment. Her most recent full-length was 2021’s On My Way to You.

SOCAN extends its warmest condolences to Eikhard’s family, friends, fellow musicians, other colleagues in the music ecosystem, fans, and anyone who’s ever enjoyed her music.

If you’re a music-maker, at some point in your process, you may want to use other peoples’ music – whether via sampling, recording a cover version, or in academic study, for example. In all cases, there’s a legal way to do that while respecting the copyright of, and ensuring fair compensation for, the original songwriter, or composer, and music publisher. Usually, it’s a matter of obtaining permission first.

If you’re sampling a song, then both the copyright owner(s) of the recording of the song, and the copyright owner(s) of the song itself, must grant permission. So, for example, if you wanted to sample the  solo from Blue Rodeo’s “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” you’d have to get permission for use of the recording from Warner Music Canada, and for the use of the song from its co-writers, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, and/or its publisher, Thunder Hawk Music.

Although in most cases when a music publisher is involved, they’ve been granted, by contract, the right to negotiate payment and provide permission on behalf of the songwriters or composers that they represent. If that’s the case with Cuddy and Keelor, then you’d obtain permission for all three rights holders in the song from Thunder Hawk Music.

Recording a Cover Version
If you wish to record a cover version of an original copyright-protected song, you have to get permission from the copyright holders of the song, but not the rights holders for the original recording of it. If, say, you want to re-arrange “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” – and possibly change where the solo of the song comes in, or add a verse – you’d have to get permission from the writers, Cuddy and Keelor, possibly via their publisher, Thunder Hawk Music, and from Thunder Hawk itself. The same is true if you want to record a cover version of the song.

Reproducing a Cover Version
Anyone wishing to copy their version of a copyright-protected song – on a pressing of 500 vinyl records, for instance, or an audio streaming service – must first seek the permission of the copyright owner(s) by obtaining a “mechanical” or reproduction rights license. For the same example of “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” you’d once again have to obtain permission for the song only, from its co-writers, possibly via their publisher, and from the publisher itself.

Third-Party Services
In all of the above cases, there are third-party services that can license songs on your behalf, for you to cover; but ultimately, permission must always be obtained from the copyright owners in the end – whether you yourself obtain it, or a third-party company obtains it for you. And you should always check thoroughly to ensure that any such company is operating legally and legitimately before engaging with them.

Fair Dealing
The Canadian term “fair dealing” is similar but not exactly the same as the American term “fair use.” In Canada, it means that copyright isn’t infringed when a part of a work is used for private study, research, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, or news reporting. Fair dealing is a case-by-case assessment, based on factors set out by the Canadian courts. So, for example, if you’re presenting a private seminar about songwriting, it’s possible that you could play “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” to illustrate or teach certain techniques – say, how to craft a great chorus – without having to obtain permission first.

Public Domain
In Canada, a song or composition enters the public domain 70 years after the year of the death of the last surviving writer, composer, lyricist, or author of the work. No fees are typically due if the song or composition in a performance are public domain. So, 70 years after the last surviving composer of “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” passes away – whether Jim Cuddy or Greg Keelor – the song will be in the public domain, and can then be recorded without any permission required.

For answers to other frequently asked questions about copyright, and how SOCAN works, have a look at our FAQs.


Classical composer/conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has earned five nominations, and producer/songwriter Boi-1da and Drake have earned four each – the most among all SOCAN members this year – for the 65th Grammy Awards, to be hosted by Trevor Noah and broadcast Feb. 5, 2023, on CBS.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin was nominated twice as a conductor, in the Best Opera Recording category, for Aucoin: Eurydice and Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones. He was also given the nod as a conductor in the Best Choral Performance category, for Verdi: Requiem – The Met Remembers 9/11. He garnered his fourth nomination as a pianist, for soloist Renée Fleming, on Voice Of Nature – The Anthropocene, tipped for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. And his fifth was in the Best Classical Compendium category, for his for his role as a conductor on A Concert For Ukraine.

Boi-1da (aka Matthew Samuels) was nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; earned two nods for his songwriting and producing contributions to both Beyoncé’s Renaissance and Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, both nominated for Album of the Year; and was recognized for his production work on “Churchill Downs” by Jack Harlow featuring Drake, which was nominated for Best Rap Song.

Drake earned four nominations as well: two for Best Rap Song, for his features on “Churchill Downs” by Jack Harlow, and “Wait for U” by Future (which also featured Tems); one for Best Melodic Rap Performance, also on “Wait for U”; and one for his songwriting on Beyoncé’s Renaissance, nominated for Album of the Year.

Professional songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. is a triple nominee, honoured in the brand new category of Songwriter of the Year, and as a co-writer who contributed to songs on Adele’s 30, and Harry’s House by Harry Styles, both nominated for Album of the Year.

SOCAN member Akeel Henry is a double nominee, as a contributor to Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous, in the running for Album of the Year, and a co-writer/co-producer of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Hurt Me So Good,” tipped for Best R&B Song. SOCAN member Michael Holmes and Luca Mauti are also co-writer/producers of “Hurt Me So Good.”

SOCAN members with single nominations include Alisson Russell, in the Best American Roots Song category, for “Prodigal Daughter”; producer/songwriter/DJ Kaytranada in the Best Dance/Electronic Recording field, for “Intimidated,” a duet with H.E.R.; Bryan Adams, up for Best Rock Performance, for “So Happy It Hurts”; Michael Bublé, recognized in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, for Higher; Snarky Puppy (which includes SOCAN member Larnell Lewis), in the running for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, for Empire Central; the late Glenn Gould, posthumously nominated for Best Historic Album, for The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased 1981 Studio Sessions; and Arcade Fire, for Best Alternative Music Album, for WE.

Producer/songwriter Sevn Thomas is included among the contributors to Album of the Year contender Renaissance, by Beyoncé. He also co-produced “Good Day,” a song included on Sean Paul’s Schorcha, nominated for Best Reggae Album. Schorcha, also includes co-production of “Wine Up” by Jordon Manswell, and of multiple songs by Banx & Ranx.

SOCAN members Joey and David Landreth, of the Bros. Landreth, co-wrote “Made Up Mind,” whose cover version by Bonnie Raitt was nominated for Best Americana Performance. The Bonnie Raitt full-length recording on which the song appears, Just Like That, was nominated for Best Americana Album.

In the Best Rap Album category, Ozan “OZ” Yildirim contributed to Jack Harlow’s nominated album Come Home The Kids Miss You, and DRTWRK contributed to DJ Khaled’s nominated album God Did. In the same category, Future’s nominated album I Never Liked You includes the feature from Drake (and Tems) on “Wait for U”; Jack Harlow’s nominated album Come Home The Kids Miss You also includes the feature from Drake on “Churchill Downs”; and Kendrick Lamar’s nominated album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers includes production and songwriting from Boi-1da.

Chiiild (Yonatan Ayal and Pierre-Luc Rioux) contributed to the song “Compassion,” which appears on Lucky Daye’s Candydrip, a nominee for Best R&B Album. Ryan Bakalarcyzk and Ace G contributed to Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs,” nominated for Best Rap Song. And Demy & Clipz (aka Étienne Gagnon and Steve Martinez-Funes), are contributors to “La Corriente,” by Bad Bunny, on his album Un Verano Sin Ti, nominated for both Album Musica Urbana  and Album of the Year.

Ron Korb is featured on flute on Sakura by Masa Takumi, nominated for Best Global Music Album. Korb also played on Divine Tides by Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Ricky Kej, nominated for Best Immersive Audio Album. Yonatan Watts co-produced on Chris Brown’s Breezy, nominated for Best R&B Album. Andrew T contributed to “Churchill Downs,” the Jack Harlow effort nominated for Best Rap Song. Charlie Houston sang on ODESZA’s The Last Goodbye, nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. Aaron Paris and Drake contributed to the song “No Secret” by DJ Khaled, included on his LP God Did, nominated for Rap Album of the Year. CVRE has writing and production credits on “Defend” by Koffee, a song included on Gifted, which is nominated for Best Reggae Album. Ali Milner (aka WILLA) co-wrote on “Slow Song” by The Knocks and Dragonette (also SOCAN members), which is nominated for Best Remixed Recording. Martina Sorbara, of Dragonette, is also a co-writer and performer on “Slow Song.”

Raynford “Preme” Humphrey was both a producer and Songwriter on the song “No Secret,” which appears on DJ Khaled’s nominated album God Did. On the same album, Sean Leon has a songwriting credit on “Use This Gospel,” and Noel Cadastre was the recording engineer on “Staying Alive.” Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI, nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album, Adam “Ging” Feeney co-produced and co-wrote “Candy” and “La Fama,” and The Weeknd also co-produced and co-wrote the latter. François-Olivier “Bob Riddim” Boucard has a producer credit on “Neva Bow Down” by Rocky Dawuni, nominated for Best Global Music Performance. Rachael Kennedy (of L I O N C H I L D) contributed to The Kalling, by Kabaka Pyramid, nominated for Best Reggae Album, and to TRAP CAKE, VOL. 2, by Rauw Alejandro. nominated for Best Música Urbana Album.

Please note that SOCAN is currently reviewing the entire, extensive list of 2023 Grammy nominations to determine any other member nominees, and may update this article accordingly.

SOCAN congratulates our Grammy-nominated members on this huge achievement!