Canada’s Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies, PM weeps
The death of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, a music superstar beloved for songs about culture, small towns and hockey, triggered an outpouring of tributes and grief across Canada on Wednesday (October 18).
Downie, 53, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2015, died on Tuesday night surrounded by his family, according to a family statement.
Weeping openly, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he had drawn strength and inspiration from the nation’s best known songwriter. At his final concert in August 2016, televised nationally, Trudeau had joined Downie on stage in tribute.
“We are less of a country without Gord Downie in it,” Trudeau said in Parliament.
Downie was known for his frenetic stage presence and telling long stories in the middle of songs. Formed in the 1980s with roots in blues and rock, the Tragically Hip found radio popularity on both classic and alternative rock stations.