The Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie 1964 – 2017

By Scott Bernstein Oct 18, 2017 6:49 am PDT

A day music fans have been dreading since May 2016 has arrived as The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has succumbed to terminal brain cancer. Downie, an icon in his native Canada, passed away last night surrounded by those he loved. The Tragically Hip issued a statement about Gord Downie’s death:

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

Gord Downie was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer known as glioblastoma after suffering a seizure in December 2015. The Tragically Hip revealed the news of Gord’s diagnosis on May 24, 2016; when the band announced a 15-show tour along with the sad prognosis for their frontman. Each stop on the Man Machine Poem tour, which stuck to Canada, was an event building to a huge finale on August 20, 2016 in The Hip’s hometown of Kingston. The concert was broadcast live by the CBC and streamed to a worldwide audience.

The Tragically Hip wound up releasing 13 studio albums, two live albums and an EP between their formation in 1984 and Gord’s death. Last year the group unveiled Man Machine Poem, their final studio LP. The Hip were also known for their emotional live performances which often featured stage banter from Downie that ranged from charming to harsh.

Gord Downie was 53.

Watch The Hip perform “New Orleans Is Sinking” at their final concert:

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