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Welsh music icon, Leah Owen, remembered following her death at 70

05 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Leah Owen. Image: Bangor University

As Wales remembers Leah Owen, a major force in Welsh music, who recently passed away at the age of 70, we are sharing a video of one of her most beloved songs, Mefus a Gwin.

Leah Owen was famed for mentoring a new generation of Welsh artists – many of whom, like her, grew up performing in local and the national Eisteddfodau.

Mefus a Gwin

Leah has been a fixture on S4C throughout much of its lifetime, and we are sharing a special performance of Mefus a Gwin below to celebrate the life of this extraordinarily special and much-loved face and voice of Welsh music, language and culture.

Leah released a number of celebrated albums, including 1975’s Leah, and Y Gyfrinach Fawr from 1983 – all with the legendary Sain Records.

Leah received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Denbighshire Community Awards ceremony in November last year, and most recently received an honorary Doctor of Music from Bangor University for her contribution to Welsh and Welsh culture, music and arts in December.

Here, Leah Owen accepts the Syr T H Parry Williams award at the National Eisteddfod which was held in Ebbw Vale in 2010, with an introduction from the current Plaid leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth:

Leah Owen was raised in Rhosmeirch on Anglesey, and later spent much of her life in the village of Prion in Denbighshire

She worked as a teacher at Hirael School, Bangor, Denbigh High School, Twm o’r Nant, Denbigh, and Denbighshire Language Centre and throughout her lifetime mentored and coached a wealth of Welsh talent such as Mared Williams, Steffan Rhys Hughes, Angharad Rowlands and Jade Davies.

Culture, language, music and the arts

Bangor University said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Leah Owen. Last month she received an honorary degree for her contribution to Welsh culture, language, music and the arts.

“We extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”


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