Tragically Hip Frontman Passes Away

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 07:52
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In a release on their Facebook page, The Tragically Hip say front man Gord Downie passed away last night with his family by his side.

The letter says "Gord knew this day was coming - his response was to spend this precious time as he always had - making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived."

Downie was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor in May of 2016.  The band then embarked on a county wide farewell tour that culminated in a legendary performance in their hometown of Kingston that was broadcast live on the CBC.

Gord Downie was 53.

(MH)

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie dead at age 53

By David Friend

Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died. He was 53.

Downie died Tuesday night “with his beloved children and family close by,” the band said in a statement on its website Wednesday morning.

In the wake of his diagnosis with glioblastoma - an incurable form of cancer - the musician became a symbol of perseverance in the face of his mortality.

“Gord knew this day was coming - his response was to spend this precious time as he always had - making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss … on the lips,” the statement said.

Downie spent the last chapter of his life raising funds for brain cancer research and advocating for the rights of Canada's Indigenous Peoples.

“Gord said he had lived many lives,” the band said. “As a musician, he lived 'the life' for over 30 years, lucky to do most of it with his high school buddies. At home, he worked just as tirelessly at being a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one worked harder on every part of their life than Gord. No one.”

One of the country's most revered singer-songwriters, Downie penned a steady stream of 1990s rock radio staples including “New Orleans Is Sinking,” “Blow at High Dough,” “Courage,” “Ahead By a Century” and “Bobcaygeon.”

The country was shocked when Downie revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis in May 2016. The band's subsequent tour sold out nearly immediately.

(The Canadian Press)

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