Gord Downie Dead

Mike Anders

Gord Downie

As of October 18, Canadian rock figure Gord Downie has died. He was only 53, and left behind four kids. He had been diagnosed in 2016 with terminal brain cancer, and gave one final, Canadawide tour. Known for his cryptic lyrics and electrifying live performances, he was the iconic lead singer of The Tragically Hip. The band was wildly famous across Canada, but never found a market in the United States. Gord Downie also had a fairly successful solo career, with three solo albums. The most recent of these, Secret Path, came out after his diagnosis, and was based on a true story of an indigenous boy who was sent to a residential school and tried to walk back home, which was over three hundred miles away. For the album, he was awarded the Order of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and was bestowed an eagle feather by the Assembly of First Nations. They also gave him an aboriginal name, Wicapi Omani, meaning “man who walks among the stars”. His work for indigenous and environmental causes, as well as his music, touched millions of Canadians. Said Trudeau: “We are less of a country without Gord Downie in it.” He was a ubiquitous part of Canadian culture and inspired thousands. He will truly be missed.

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