Herb Leblanc, a pioneer of Acadian music, died Sunday at his home in Lake Doucette, on the French shore of Nova Scotia.

Leblanc, the front man for the now-disbanded Acadian folk band Tymeux de la Baie, was 81.

Leblanc started his career singing English country in dance halls, but was later inspired by the success of Festival acadien de Clare and began writing music in French.

He kicked off the French-Acadian folk renaissance in the late 1970s, according to his nephew, Len Leblanc.

"It was a huge impact," he said. "When you give a rebirth to a culture that had been subdued so much in their poetry and their song writing and their creativity. It was like a lighthouse, a beacon across our culture.

"It was the inspiration which was great because then it spawned on these brand new groups that started off after, like the Grand Derangement and the blues and myself and the Baie en Joie. It was a very important key to our culture."