By now, you've likely heard of the untimely passing of legendary Canadian musician, Gord Downie. The iconic singer-songwriter died at the young age of 53 this morning after a year-long battle with terminal brain cancer. We knew it was coming, but as many fans have echoed today, the knowledge of what was ahead certainly didn't ease the pain.
In his incredible career leading alternative rock heroes, The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie was able to touch an entire nation with his unique gift: stunning and authentically Canadian poetry. Both his and his band's impact on the country was evident during The Hip's final performance last summer in Kingston, Ontario. According to reports, one-third of Canada's entire population tuned in to see Downie and company rock their hometown arena one last time.
It's clear that Downie's music will be everlasting, but the singer's career off-stage was also rightfully celebrated following today's unfortunate news. Canada's Prime Minister spoke to press this afternoon and reminded everyone of Gord's love and passion for his homeland. In a tearful address to media at Parliament Hill, Justin Trudeau reiterated the singer's undeniable ties to the north. “We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it," the Prime Minister stated. “Gord was my friend, but he was everyone’s friend. Our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had."
Following his address, Trudeau released an official statement and highlighted Downie's efforts to assist Indigenous Peoples despite his fragile condition. “In the wake of his diagnosis," the Prime Minister began, "Gord only fought harder for what he believed in: social justice, environmentalism, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Before passing, he shined his light on the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack who died from hunger and exposure after trying to find his way home from a residential school."
You can watch Justin Trudeau's emotional tribute below via YouTube.