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Jerry Holland earned accolades for his Cape Breton-style music. ((CBC))

Cape Breton fiddler and composer Jerry Holland has died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 54.

Holland died Thursday night, a close friend told CBC News.

Holland was originally from Boston. As a boy, he travelled to Cape Breton in the summer with his family. He moved to the island permanently in 1975.

He performed publicly for the first time at age six — a year after he started to learn the fiddle. He performed on the John Allan Cameron Show from 1974-1977, and played stages around the world.

Over the years, Holland earned a reputation as one of the finest composers and players of Cape Breton-style music.