Yes, Buffy Sainte-Marie is 72 today, and she looks absolutely fantastic. We heard she does a lot of yoga, and the Hawaiian air (where she now calls home) probably doesn't hurt, either.

Born on the Piapot reserve in Saskatchewan, Sainte-Marie was adopted and raised in the U.S. After seven decades, she still creates music and art, playing live shows around the world. In celebration of Sainte-Marie's 72nd birthday, CBC Music took a look at the singer's top five collaborations. Not all of them are musical, and we're OK with that.

1969: Leonard Cohen

Her sixth album, Illuminations, featured a collaboration with Canadian poet Leonard Cohen. Sainte-Marie set his poem God is Alive to a hauntingly beautiful tune.

 

1977: Sesame Street

Sainte-Marie was a regular cast member on Sesame Street for five years beginning in 1975. One of the only visible Aboriginal people on television at that time, she pushed boundaries. In this clip from the show, Sainte-Marie explains to Big Bird how she feeds her son Cody. It is a beautiful moment shared between the three.

 

1982: An Officer and a Gentleman

Sainte-Marie joined forces with Jack Nitzsche and Will Jennings writing the Oscar-winning hit "Up Where We Belong." It was performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the film An Officer and a Gentleman.

 

1997: Cradleboard Teaching Project

Sainte-Marie’s Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education received startup funds for the Cradleboard Teaching Project from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project, which is still running today, is designed to enrich core curriculum based on Native American cultural perspectives.

2009: Bruthers of Different Muthers

After playing with the same musicians for about 30 years, Sainte-Marie took her live show in a different direction. She hired Aboriginal musicians to back her, and three of the four members of rock group Bruthers of Different Muthers now join her onstage, keeping the 72-year-old relevant, and attracting a young audience. From her 18th album, Running For the Drum, this is "Cho Cho Fire."

 

Related:

New documentary of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s career of almost 50 years
Bruthers of Different Muthers inspired by powwow beats 
Buffy Sainte-Marie remains grounded, but up where she belongs 

posted by Kim Wheeler on Feb 20, 2013