Gordon Downie, the lead singer of the Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip, has lost his battle with brain cancer and passed away at the age of 53. While Downie may be popular for his role as the band’s lead singer, he’s endeared himself to millions for his public struggle with the cancer that destroyed his life. As the news of Gordon’s passing circulates, millions from Canada and beyond mourn the passing of Mr. Downie and wish him peace in the afterlife.
The Tragically Hip Broke the News to Fans
The band, beloved by fans for their unique sound and live performances, broke the news that Gordon Downie had passed away late Tuesday night, according to People magazine. The announcement said the singer was surrounded by his children and other family members at the time of his passing. As the struggle to overcome brain cancer became a greater part of his life, Gordon prepared himself for the reality that he was losing that battle and came to accept that his passing was at hand, revealed the message.
“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.”
Knowing that he was dying, Mr. Downie expressed the feelings he had for his family, friends, and fans early. He said he was grateful for getting to spend over three decades “living the life” as a rock star. Being a musician was important to the Canadian rocker, and his life was made that much more special by sharing that long journey with his high school friends.
At home, Gordon Downie was just as loved. He enjoyed his role as a family man as much as he loved making music, relishing in being a son, brother, husband, and father. The announcement released by The Tragically Hip expresses this massive presence by stating that Downie always gave his best in every aspect of his life.
Gordon Downie Left Behind an Immeasurable Legacy
While Gordon was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2015, he didn’t publicly share the news until May of the following year, reports Rolling Stone. That summer, The Tragically Hip was to release their final studio album with Downie as the frontman, Man Machine Poem, and they launched an extensive Canadian tour to promote the album and connect with fans one final time. The final show of that tour was performed in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
Proving that the Rogers K-Rock Centre performance was not to be missed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was spotted attending the show, which the Toronto Police Department announced on their official Twitter account.
“Dear world, Please be advised that Canada will be closed tonight at 8:30 p.m. Have a #TragicallyHip day,” stated the tweet.
In 30 years, The Tragically Hip released 14 studio albums, and most of those releases rose to the top of the Canadian music charts. While the band’s first LPs certified diamond, the majority of their albums went platinum, proving that the 16 Juno Awards received by The Tragically Hip were hard-won victories. Two of those Juno awards were earned this past year for Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year for Man Machine Poem.
In 1984, Gordon Downie formed The Tragically Hip, along with his high school friends Bobby Baker, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fay. The band played gigs throughout Canada early in the 80s, until they caught the attention of MCA Records president Bruce Dickinson, who offered Gordon and his bandmates a recording contract.
“Gord Downie is definitely in the tradition of great Canadian poets,” Dickinson said of The Tragically Hip lead singer in 2016.
Gordon Downie will be missed by everyone who knew him and knew of him.
[Featured Image by Donald Weber/Getty Images]