b. Kelita Haverland, c.
1960, Claresholm, Alberta, Canada. Kelita has spoken openly of the very difficult circumstances in which she was raised. As a small child, she suffered sexual abuse from a brother, her mother broke up the home taking the children with her, her alcoholic father committed suicide, and then her mother died from cancer. All this was before she had reached the age of 15. Her abusive brother later died from a heroin overdose.
Kelita wrote poetry and songs during these troubled years, and also sang in the church choir where she encountered Dorothy Maguire of the Maguire Sisters, who encouraged her ambitions to become a performer. She also sang with a touring gospel group, but drifted away from any closeness with God, instead taking the path of drink and drugs. At 18, Kelita began studying theatre at a York University in Toronto, and played in local productions, such as Godspell. Married at 21, she took to the road, singing and playing country music throughout Canada and gaining a good following. She had success with some singles and also won the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Vista Rising Star Award. When Kelita was involved in a road accident, it prompted her to reassess her lifestyle and to return to God. This brought with it a change in the nature of her shows and she moved into contemporary Christian music.
Kelita appeared frequently on television in Canada from 1987, including Nashville Now, Sun Country and The Tommy Hunter Show. In 1988 her recording of ‘Neighbours Of The World’ was named as the official song for the winter Olympic Games that were held at Calgary. That same year and again in 1989 she toured Canadian and United Nations troops in Europe and the Middle East. On the second of these tours she met Gord Lemon who later became her second husband and has also co-written songs with her. Her repertoire includes ‘For Cryin’ Out Loud’, ‘Merry Go Round’, ‘Peace’, ‘I Need To Be Needed’, ‘Too Hot To Handle’, ‘Saturday Night Dancing’, ‘I Can’t Get Close Enough’, which she recorded as a duet with Bobby Lalonde, and ‘We Can Do Anything’, also a duet, with Terry Kelly, that was nominated in 1994 for the CCMA Award for Best Vocal Collaboration. Kelita also worked with Susan Aglukark to write ‘Kathy I’ and ‘Breakin’ Down’.