Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian Songwriting Icon, Dies at 84

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 2, 2023

Gordon Lightfoot — the legendary Canadian musician widely considered to be among the greatest singer-songwriters the country has ever produced — has died. Victoria Lord, the artist's longtime publicist and a representative for the family, confirmed to multiple outlets that Lightfoot passed away at a Toronto hospital Monday evening. A cause of death was not available. He was 84.

"Gordon died peacefully on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He died of natural causes. He was 84 years old," a statement from Lightfoot's family reads. "He is survived by his wife Kim Hasse, six children — Fred, Ingrid, Eric, Galen, Miles and Meredith, as well as several grandchildren."

Across a career of over five decades, Lightfoot delivered 20 studio albums — the most recent of which is 2020's Solo — and three live albums, a number of which achieved gold and multi-platinum sale certification status internationally.

Lightfoot was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. His induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the American institution, came in 2012. He received an Order of Canada citation in 1970, ahead of being promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada — the honour's highest level — in 2003.

Bob Dylan counted Lightfoot among his favourite songwriters, while his songs have been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Harry Belafonte, Marty Robbins, Sarah McLachlan, Ian and Sylvia, Bruce Cockburn, the Tragically Hip and many more.

Earlier this month, Lightfoot cancelled 2023 tour dates due to "health-related issues."  

This is a developing story.

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