b. Elizabeth Ann Youlden, 20 September 1929, Aberdeen, Scotland, d. 20 February 1993, Aberdeen, Scotland. Higgins was the only daughter of Scottish ballad singer Jeannie Robertson and piper Donald Higgins. She left school at the age of 15 and worked for a while as a fish filleter. After the ‘discovery’ of her mother by the song collector Hamish Henderson, she occasionally accompanied Robertson on her travels around Scotland and England, collecting and performing songs. In the wake of their growing reputation, she took up singing full-time. It was only after her mother’s death in 1975 that she started to perform with regularity. Her technique included what she herself called ‘the pipe singing’. In this she would embellish a tune in much the same way a piper might. She is often remembered for her contribution to the double album of ballad recordings made by the School of Scottish Studies, The Muckle Sangs, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Scottish traditional singers. Although Higgins appeared on a number of recordings, she only made two albums in her own right. She died of cancer in 1993.
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