Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie passes away after battle with terminal brain cancer

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Gord Downie, frontman for Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, passed away Oct. 17. He suffered from terminal brain cancer. (Photo Credit: Paul Barrie)

Gordon Edgar Downie
February 6, 1964 – October 17, 2017

The family of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie announced this morning that the beloved singer who battled terminal brain cancer passed away last night at the age of 53. Downie had an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, which he discovered after a seizure in December 2015. Here is the official statement from his family:

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

The Tragically Hip, often referred to simply as the Hip, are from Kingston, Ontario and also consisted of guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay. They have released 14 studio albums, two live albums, one EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 on the Canadian charts. They have received numerous Canadian music awards, including 16 Juno Awards. They even had their own Canadian stamp.

As a solo artist Downie has released five solo albums: Coke Machine Glow (2001), Battle of the Nudes (2003), The Grand Bounce (2010), And the Conquering Sun with The Sadies (2014) and Secret Path (2016).

Following Downie’s diagnosis with terminal brain cancer in 2016, the band undertook a tour of Canada in support of their thirteenth album Man Machine Poem. Earlier this fall, Downie announced he had been working on another solo album, Introduce Yerself. The 23-song double album is due out Oct. 27, 2017 and is expected to be released posthumously by the Canadian label Arts & Crafts.

Downie was also a poet, activist and family man who leaves behind a wife, Laura Leigh Usher, and four children.

Music Life Magazine’s own, Paul Barrie, has photographed Downie several times over the years from 2011 – 2015. The following is a gallery of photos from Paul Barrie’s private collection.

Rest In Peace Gord.

#RIPGord #RIPGordDownie #TragicallyHip #Courage

All photos by Paul Barrie
©2017. Please DO NOT copy or use without permission.

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