The Tragically Hip’s Frontman, Gord Downie, Passes Away at 53

The Tragically Hip's Frontman Gord Downie Passes Away
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The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie passed away yesterday.  He was surrounded by family.

The Tragically Hip’s frontman, Gord Downie, has passed away.

He was 53.

Downie had been battling with glioblastoma.  Doctors discovered the aggressive and incurable cancer after the Canadian singer suffered a seizure in 2015.

The group first revealed that Downie had brain cancer in May 2016.  Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, and Johnny Fay announced that the band would head out on a final tour “for Gord, and for all of us.”  The farewell summer tour coincided with the band’s fourteenth album, Man Machine Poem.

The CBC broadcast the final concert on August 20th.  The Tragically Hip performed in Kingston, the group’s hometown.  Among those in attendance was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Gord Downie was born on February 6th, 1964 in Amherstview, Ontario.  He and his four friends formed The Tragically Hip in 1983.

Earlier this year, Gord Downie was appointed to the Order of Canada for his work supporting First Nations.

In a statement published on The Tragically Hip’s website, the band confirmed that Downie passed away quietly surrounded by his children and family.

“October 18, 2017

“Last night Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by.

“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.

“Gord said he had lived many lives.  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.

“We would like to thank all the kind folks at KGH and Sunnybrook, Gord’s bandmates, management team, friends and fans.  Thank you for all the help and support over the past two years.

“Thank you everyone for all the respect, admiration and love you have given Gord throughout the years – those tender offerings touched his heart and he takes them with him now as he walks among the stars.

“Love you forever Gord.

“The Downie Family”


Image by Matt MacGillivray (CC by 2.0)

One Response

  1. RIP

    For our neighbours unfamiliar with Gord, the failing fake news NY Times summed it up nicely:

    The place of honor that Mr. Downie occupies in Canada’s national imagination has no parallel in the United States. Imagine Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Michael Stipe combined into one sensitive, oblique poet-philosopher and you’re getting close. The Tragically Hip’s music “helped us understand each other, while capturing the complexity and vastness of the place we call home,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Wednesday. “Our identity and culture are richer because of his music, which was aways raw and honest – like Gord himself.”