On March 30th, 2022, Yanick Etienne-Emile, beloved sister, mother, and friend, passed away in Gainesville, Florida, at the age of 63. The woman who lifted the world’s heart with her voice passed away, surrounded by loved ones singing and praising God around her.
Yanick was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1958 to Pierre and Marguerite Etienne. She and her family emigrated in stages to the United States and were reunited in June 1970, where they built a new life in Brooklyn, New York. While in New York, Yanick graduated from Kingsborough Community College and took the first steps toward a fulfilling music career.
A singer and songwriter, Yanick was best known for her work with Bryan Ferry and the British rock band Roxy Music through the 80s and 90s. As a solo artist, she released two albums: the first with the support of producer, composer, and arranger Dernst Emile and the second with her Grammy and Oscar award-winning son, Dernst Emile II (professionally known as D’Mile). Yanick never stopped performing, and in the later years of her life, she found a unique purpose in supporting her local church’s worship team. Her faith in God and her musical legacy lives on through her two children, of whom she was always proud.
Yanick had a penchant for language beyond the songs she had written. She was an avid reader and writer. She was fluent in English, Haitian Kreyòl, & French. Yanick utilized her command of those languages to work serving the Haitian community as a language interpreter. On a typical day, you could find Yanick on her morning walk with her sister and confidant, Carolle, or amongst her beloved church family. Maybe you’d even find her watching a science fiction movie, sharing a word of wisdom, or interacting with her fans on social media.
Yanick Etienne-Emile was preceded in death by her parents and her eldest brother, Weston. She is survived by a husband, two children and their partners, and four siblings.
Yanick was a woman who loved as fiercely as she lived. She was full of gratitude for every day that came. Her laughter will be missed at every gathering of her loved ones. Yanick’s request before her transition was that her loved ones would celebrate her passing with food, music, and laughter rather than tears.
A celebration of Yanick’s life will be held at New Covenant Alliance Church. 160 Marion Oaks Course, Ocala, Florida 34473 on Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 10 AM-12:30 PM with a reception to follow.
In place of flowers, her family requests that you make a donation in Yanick’s name to the Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans (ECANA) or the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.