Following a highly publicized battle with brain cancer, the Tragically Hip's beloved frontman Gord Downie has passed away at the age of 53.
According to a band statement posted this morning (October 18), Downie passed away last night (October 17) with his children and family nearby.
The full message reads:
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
His bandmates initially shared news of Downie's diagnosis last May, explaining that "he's endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard."
Following the Hip's final live shows last year, Downie released Secret Path, a solo record sharing the story of a young Anishinaabe boy named Chanie Wenjack, who died trying to make his way home from a residential school.
Just last month, Downie revealed plans for another solo record. The 23-song double album, titled Introduce Yerself, is slated for release on October 27 via Arts & Crafts.
The Tragically Hip, meanwhile, will release a comprehensive vinyl box set dubbed The Complete Collection 1987-2016 on November 3.
Revisit just a fraction of Downie's work by reading Exclaim!'s Essential Guide to the Tragically Hip here.
Social media tributes to the singer have already started pouring in, and you can read just a select few of those messages below.
There will never be another one like you, Gord. Rest in peace my friend.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 18, 2017
Gord Downie you are a beautiful man, a brilliant artist and a loving friend. You live forever in the music & memories you left in our hearts— Wab Kinew (@WabKinew) October 18, 2017
Gord Downie. Another brilliant, wonderful soul is gone. Deepest condolences to the family. RIP Gord. Thank you for everything you gave us. pic.twitter.com/nkJ1Uu6yxd— Bubbles (@MSmithBubbles) October 18, 2017
Gord Downie's legacy extends beyond his music. He raised unprecedented awareness for glioblastoma. Our condolences to his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/igl5dOqNAs— Sunnybrook Hospital (@Sunnybrook) October 18, 2017
Oh no. No words. RIP Gord Downie you beautiful human. https://t.co/2sYLdFWz1o— Tom Power (@tompowercbc) October 18, 2017
The ultimate thug in perpetuity. Rest easy, Gord. It has been a real pleasure doing business with you. pic.twitter.com/dx9y5n3NIE— Vanessa Heins (@VanessaHeins) October 18, 2017