The long-awaited Rankin Family comeback tour, set to begin Sunday, has been temporarily postponed, after the sudden death of elder sister Geraldine (Rankin) Coyne.

Coyne, 49, died at her Calgary home on Wednesday after suffering a brain aneurysm.A funeral is scheduled for Monday in Calgary.

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The Rankin Family, from left to right, Heather, Jimmy, Raylene and Carol Jean, released a new album Tuesday and were to start a cross country tour next week. ((Janet Kimber/Canadian Press))

"We have postponed the Nanaimo shows set for the 14th and 15th, but no decision has yet been made regarding when and where the tour will start up," group spokeswoman Marlene Palmer said in an e-mail sent Thursday night, according to the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

"We are working on rescheduling the affected shows and will advise in due course."

In November, the performing siblings — guitarist and vocalist Jimmy and singers Raylene, Carol Jean (Cookie) and Heather — announced a cross-country tour and upcoming new album.

The tour would be the group's first in more than eight years, as well as the first tour since the 2000 death of its eldest member, pianist and fiddler John Morris. His daughter, Molly, was scheduled to join the new tour.

TheRankins released their newest album, The Rankin Family: Reunion Exclusive Tour Edition, on Tuesday, with the tour originally scheduled to begin with two shows in Nanaimo, B.C., on Sunday and Monday.

They were to continue through Victoria, Vancouver, Vernon and Prince George next week.

A family troupe that originally performed at local celebrations around their hometown of Mabou in Cape Breton, the Rankins formally began touring professionally in 1989.

Known for mixing traditional Celtic sounds with more contemporary folk and pop, the band chalked up sales of more than two million albums worldwide and had won multiple Juno and East Coast Music Awards when, in 1999, the siblings decided to work on solo projects.

With files from the Canadian Press.