Gord Downie, frontman for The Tragically Hip, dies at 53

Published On October 18, 2017 | By Jacob Phillips | Arts, Life, News

Gord Downie performs in Sudbury, ON in 2013. (Flikr/Moyia Misner-Pellow)

By: Tyson Lautenschlager

Gord Downie, the frontman for legendary Canadian band The Tragically Hip, has died at 53, the CBC is reporting.

In a statement posted on the band’s website, The Tragically Hip confirmed Downie died on Tuesday night “with his beloved children and family close by.”

Downie was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer in May of 2016.

Downie, a Canadian rock legend for the ages, was born in Kingston of Feb. 6, 1964. It was in Kingston that he met his bandmates Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Davis Manning, and Gord Sinclair and formed the band in 1983. In 1986, guitarist Paul Langlois joined the band after Manning, a saxophonist, left.

Some of the Hip’s most popular songs included New Orleans Is Sinking, Bobcaygeon and Wheat Kings. Most recently, the Hip released its 13th studio album Man Machine Poem in 2016 before going on their final 15-stop tour. The Tragically Hip played their last concert in August of 2016 in Kingston.

Expressing their sadness for the loss of a superstar, several Canadian celebrities took to Twitter to talk about Downie.

One of Downie’s last ventures was to raise awareness for Indigenous peoples. Downie released a project called Secret Path in October 2016. The multimedia project talks about Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died of exposure and hunger in 1966 after escaping from a residential school in Northern Ontario. Meanwhile, the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund was started to “start a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”

Downie’s final solo album, Introduce Yerself, is set to release on October 27.

R.I.P. Gord Downie.

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