Young passed away Tuesday, January 1st, “surrounded by her friends and family in her native California,” according to a short statement posted to her official social media accounts.
The San Mateo-born Young was working as a waitress near Neil Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch when the two first crossed paths. They were married in 1978 and went on to have two children together, Ben and Amber. However, after nearly 40 years of marriage and countless love songs dedicated to their relationship, Neil filed for divorce from Pegi in 2014.
Like Neil, Young was also a musician. In 2007, following decades spent accompanying Neil on the road as a back-up singer, Young stepped into the spotlight and launched her own solo career. Altogether she released five folk/country albums, her most recent being 2017’s Raw, which chronicled the dissolution of her marriage to Neil. She also toured extensively behind her solo catalog.
Outside of music, Young was known to have dedicated much of her time to philanthropy. In the ’80s, she and then-husband Neil founded The Bridge School, a non-profit organization that aids children with physical and speech impairments (including their son, Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy). From 1986 to 2016, the pair organized an annual, star-studded benefit concert in California in support of The Bridge School; past performers include David Bowie, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Arcade Fire, Jack White, and a reunion of Temple of the Dog.
Read her family’s full statement below, followed by a pair of her solo offerings.