Karim Ouellet

Tributes pour in for Quebec singer Karim Ouellet, who has died at 37

The award-winning artist passed away on Monday in a Quebec City recording studio.

News broke this morning that 37-year-old singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet has died. His body was found last night in a Quebec City recording studio, and the cause of death remains unknown.

Ouellet’s sound was embraced for blending hip hop, funk and folk-pop. He released his debut LP Plume in 2011 but was best known for his 2013 sophomore album Fox, which won ADISQ and Juno awards, and the single “L’amour.” Ouellet, who has been silent on social media for over a year, noted on his Spotify page that he was working on a fourth LP to follow up 2016’s Trente.

Ouellet was born in Dakar, Senegal and was adopted by Québécois parents. His sister Sarahmée also pursued a successful career in music.

Sarahmée made the following statement on Facebook this morning.

“‘It is with deep sadness that we, the family, announce the passing of our dear Karim; a son, a brother, a friend and an exceptional musician. Karim left his mark in our hearts forever and we will continue to celebrate his life, his talent and his legacy. We ask the media and journalists to respect the privacy of the family and Karim at this difficult time.’

“And thank you for this torrent of love for Karim, to those who have been touched by his words and his melodies. Let’s continue to make his music resonate.”

—His parents and sister

A number of political and cultural figures have expressed condolences today in reaction to the news.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Karim Ouellet
Quebec Premier François Legault on Karim Ouellet

“His songs will continue their journey from our hearts to our ears for many more years, carrying with them all the passion of a local man who will have left his mark on our culture. To you, dear Karim, I wish you bon voyage.”

—Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand

(Tributes pour in for Quebec singer Karim Ouellet, who has died at 37)

Ariane Moffatt: “Man is a wolf to man. Rest in peace Karim, your departure really hurts. Your smile was so unique.”

(Tributes pour in for Quebec singer Karim Ouellet, who has died at 37)

Ouellet’s label Coyote Records: “Rest in peace Karim. Your work will always remain etched in the community.”

“The sudden departure of Karim Ouellet is a huge shock. He was an artist with immense talent and great intelligence that I loved very much. I would have liked so much to discover what he still had to offer us. My sympathies to his family and loved ones.”

—Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante

(Tributes pour in for Quebec singer Karim Ouellet, who has died at 37)

Osheaga music festival: “Each of his visits to Osheaga marked us. Thank you for everything Karim.”

For more on Karim Ouellet, please visit his Spotify page.

For more music coverage, please visit the Music section.