The World Pays Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot

Rush's Geddy Lee, Neil Young, Raffi, Liona Boyd, Randy Bachman, Ben Stiller and many more have shared words of praise

Photo: Calum Slingerland

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 2, 2023

Gordon Lightfoot, the Canadian artist considered one of the country's most iconic songwriters, passed away yesterday at 84, and tributes have poured in for the late troubadour from Canada's artist community and beyond.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote that Lightfoot "captured our country's spirit in his music — and in doing so, he helped shape Canada's soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever."

Writing on his Archives website, Neil Young shared how he had spoken to Lightfoot following the cancellation of his tour, though "he sounded happy." "Gordon was a great Canadian artist," Young shared. "A songwriter without parallel, his melodies and words were an inspiration to all writers who listened to his music, as they will continue to be through the ages. There is a unique and wonderful feeling to Gordon's music. Lightfoot is a Canadian legend."

Randy Bachman shared a memory of how he attended a Lightfoot performance in his youth with musical partner Burton Cummings. "We sat there mesmerized the entire time at the way he sang and the stories his lyrics told. Poetry, folklore & music. Spellbound would be a good way to describe it."

Rush frontman Geddy Lee called Lightfoot "a legendary poet, a songwriting inspiration — a gem of a man — I loved him," sharing on Instagram, "He used to bring his daughter who was a fan, to our shows, and he'd sit with her in the audience getting blasted with volume for three hours — a few months back he phoned me out of the blue, for no other reason than to say he'd just watched one of our concert films and really loved it."

New Pornographers leader A.C. Newman expressed that Lightfoot has "Too many timeless classics to name," writing, "A loss to Canadians that others might not quite understand. He was our guy. Plus he had the most Canadian name of all time."

Find further tributes to Lightfoot from Liona Boyd, Robbie Robertson, Ben Stiller, Raffi, Sook-Yin Lee, Stephen Fearing, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen King, the Iron Sheik and more below.

A post shared by Geddy Lee (@geddyimages)

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